Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Hands of Action Art Exhibition and Fundraising Auction

Plans for the Hands of Action Art Exhibition and Fundraising Auction are coming along just grand!

We've decided that in the interests of sustainability, the environment and basic economics (think of the local shopkeepers), the best idea will be to buy the materials locally in Uganda, rather than fly them half way around the world.

In addition, to improve the pool of "talent", Hands of Action has suggested we expand the project to include other local orphanages and schools. We can also introduce various categories of painting etc.

I have been canvassing folks far and wide about the best way to get the paintings hung in a proper gallery, or at least a venue where they'll be appreciated by a reasonable number of people.

And of course, there will be the online gallery and auction.

To get the ball rolling, it has come down to about US$200 to buy the materials and pay for the eventual posting of the masterpieces back to Hong Kong for processing.

This will be the digital scanning of each print, and then the creation of an online gallery / auction site.

It isn't so much is it? Just US$200 - so who will be our wonderful, generous sponsor?

What you will get. It goes without saying you will receive the appreciation of Ridealist and the scores or possibly hundreds of kids who will get a big kick out of participating.

But you will also get a credit on all material published (including videos) regarding the project - and this could stretch into the thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of exposures of your name or your company name.

If the project takes off, and we get these prints into a gallery/venue - then your name or company name as the original sponsor will be seen by important decision makers in the charity, philanthropic, CSR and general community.

Even as we acquire other sponsors for the venue, frames, etc etc... as the original sponsor who made this happen, you will still receive acknowledgement for the vitally important role you played.

Now where can you buy that sort of positive attention for 200 bucks?

Waiting with anticipation....

Chris & Shirley

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Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Hat - and the Sai Kung Wedding Party

This is a great hat. It is one of my favorites and has a lot significance to me.

It is a Bailey "Curtis" fedora. And potentially it is worth almost HK$40,000

Actually, you can buy it from Village Hats for US$62 - a bargain!

So why would it be worth almost US$5,ooo?

Because when you want something, often you want it NOW!

Having a quiet drink in Hong Kong's Sai Kung district, my Curtis came to the attention of a large group of gentlemen celebrating the last weekend of freedom of one of their friends who is about to get married.

Suddenly, they all wanted to have their picture taken wearing the hat.

Okay, but be careful with it, it means a lot to me.

Then outrage, one of the group snatches the hat and runs off.

His friend apologizes, and offers to pay for the hat.

No problem. It will cost you HK$40,000 dollars.

Oh shock! You can't be serious?

Er, yes I can.

There were about 15 people in the group. All of them businessmen. None of them short of a few bucks. In fact, they were all throwing cash about and I have no doubt they were all spending up to HK$2,000 on their night out.

No problem with that. They work hard. So play hard. Good luck to them.

I offered to sell them the hat they so coveted for about HK$2,000 each. They could afford it.

With the money, Ridealist would be able to upgrade our camera and other gear to continue to providing a free service to impoverished NPOs and community groups.

But horror... even after explaining why I put such a value on the hat, they declined to buy.

I gave them all a card with Ridealist's web address... and told them to check in tomorrow on the journal page. It will be interesting to see how many respond.

Within a few days my magnificent Curtis will be exchanged for a new camera,
or it won't.

We'll see.

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Friday, 23 September 2011

Peace, Art, Sustainability, and the Rights of Women

Let's try and bring you all up to date in the briefest way possible.

Ridealist was delighted to be invited as the camera team for the 2011 Peace International Foundation (Hong Kong) Peace Festival to mark international Peace Day this past weekend.

But even before last weekend's event, one of our volunteer camera operators, Jaqueline P'ng, filmed an interview with renowned Polar explorer Robert Swan, OBE.

The edited version was presented at the Peace Festival and according to organizers, was very well received. You can watch it here on YouTube. It will also appear on the PIF website and be shown at the United Nations!

It will be Ridealist's second video to get exposure at the world body, the first being "Taming the Yellow Dragon" filmed in the Kubuqi Desert of Inner Mongolia.

Our third video to get shown at the U.N. will be a short film I am currently editing that will present the highlights of the Peace Festival - and there were plenty of those!

We are, understandably, very excited by all of this!

Next on our agenda. I have put up a couple of posts today (and tweeted them out) about a project we came up with a couple of months ago, inspired by a video we produced for Vision Africa.

Martin's Art showcased the prints of a very talented young Kenyan artist who is using his skills not only to provide himself with an education for the future, but who donates much of the profits from the sale of his exceptional pictures to charity.

This gave us an idea... read about it here! Imagine it, a Hong Kong gallery bringing the work of young children from Uganda to a sophisticated audience. Let's make this happen.

Our good friend Marcia Bujold who did the amazing animation for Hands of Action Uganda is now working on the storyboard for an animated video we're producing for Soul Talk, a foundation devoted to helping women in crisis.

24 - Going Dark. Our 24-hour "off the grid" sustainability project is still very much a go, but it has had to be delayed because my nearest and dearest has been (and remains still) on assignment in China. But if you go back through the posts to see what has been planned, take a look at the suggestions, you'll get the idea. And if you have any ideas of your own, please feel free to share!


Keeping Ridealist going can be tough. Expanding our reach - both geographically and technically is even tougher.

As we have often repeated - If you can afford to pay us, we are not the team for you. Please go find a video/photography production house that has a social enterprise/charitable element built into their business plan. They need your financial support to keep doing the great work they do.

Ridealist only accepts commissions from those who genuinely cannot pay. Our work is voluntary and totally pro-bono.

Having said that, we are looking for sponsors who will allow us to continue with our mission.

A friend said to me tonight, "There must be a philanthropist out there who would be delighted to fund your projects?"

Well if there is, and if that individual doesn't know where we are, do us a favour, and point him or her in our direction!

With continued thanks to you and our tremendous volunteers,

Chris & Shirley

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Art project for youngsters in Uganda - Update

We've moved along a little since the original post yesterday.

We've had a few discussions with Ridealist volunteers and supporters and the ideas are coming thick and fast!

It really is more sensible to have the materials purchased locally in Uganda. Not least because it saves on the cost of postage from Hong Kong or Europe, but it is - albeit small - contribution to the local community. A few dollars can go a long way.

We're planning to have the best 40 or so either scanned in Uganda - or since we actually hope to sell the originals - have them rolled up into a nice cardboard tube and sent to us here in HK.

An online gallery will showcase the work, and then perhaps an online auction,

But one of our friends who knows some gallery owners suggested why not a real gallery, with real people walking around... one hand on their cheap (sorry) wine and the other on their cheque book.

It would be a wonderful boost for the children.

Remember, Ridealist is an inclusive group - whether you are a member or just a visitor, your views and suggestions carry equal weight and are equally welcome!

Thanks everyone!

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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Using Art To Help Youngsters In Uganda

This is mainly a shout-out to our Hong Kong buddies.. though not exclusively. We'd like to send paper, wax crayons, colouring pencils etc to an orphanage in Uganda to try and encourage the kids to use art to express themselves - their dreams, their aspirations.

We have an idea of creating an online video gallery and auction of the best prints to help raise money. If anyone feels generous enough to make a donation - either in kind or cash (to help with the postage) drop me a line!

Of course, we could always send a collective donation so they can buy the items themselves, helping the local economy - which when you think sustainably, is probably a much better way to go.

But your thoughts, and suggestions very much welcomed!

Thanks everyone!

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