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Pencil in This Fundraiser


by Stephen Becker 15 Oct 2008

Here’s two things you don’t often here in the same sentence: tax write-off and nudity. But you’ll experience both if you attend Thursday night’s Live Draw in Oak Cliff. The event is a unique fundraiser for Arts Fighting Cancer, the charity founded by AFI Artistic Director Michael Cain and features close to 10 figure artists […]

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Here’s two things you don’t often here in the same sentence: tax write-off and nudity.

But you’ll experience both if you attend Thursday night’s Live Draw in Oak Cliff. The event is a unique fundraiser for Arts Fighting Cancer, the charity founded by AFI Artistic Director Michael Cain and features close to 10 figure artists sketching a trio of models posed in the altogether. As the sketches are finished they go straight from the easel to the auction block, with half the proceeds going to the artists and half going to the charity.

“In Texas, nudity is kind of a big deal still,” Michael said this afternoon. “But all the greatest artists of all time did nudes.”

Can’t argue with that. According to Michael, at the other Live Draws that he’s attended, the audience becomes much more focused on the art being created in front of them rather than the live flesh beyond the canvas. Among the artists participating are Dallas’ Arthur “ARTMAN” James, Bob Poe, Brandon Oldenburg and husband-and-wife team Hollis James Hoff and Elaine Schindler, both former set designers for Sex in The City and The Sopranos. Booker T. Washington High School students will also get a crack.

If you are unfamiliar with Arts Fighting Cancer, it’s an extremely worthwhile organization that provides immediate help to cancer sufferers to help them pay bills, buy medical equipment and visit loved ones during times when they are unable to work.

When Michael’s father was dying of pancreatic cancer, he told his son, “if you have time to make people’s lives better while you are alive you should do so.” Arts Fighting Cancer is the result of that mandate.

But what you might not know is that Michael started the Deep Ellum Film Festival mostly as a source to raise money for Arts Fighting Cancer. It eventually raised more than $100,000 to that end and put Michael in a position to launch an even grander festival, AFI Dallas, which will have its third run this spring.

No doubt many of you have attended AFI in its first two years, and you can argue that it wouldn’t even be here if not for Arts Fighting Cancer. So if you’d like to show your appreciation while supporting a good cause, head out to Live Draw on Thursday night.

You can purchase tickets here.

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