By Rick Coates
For women between the ages of 35-54 cancer is the leading cause of death. In 2003 a group of female artists and cancer survivors led by Rosalyn Tyge and Jen Hutchinson launched From Womens Hands, an art show and sale to benefit the Womens Cancer Fund of the Munson Healthcare Regional Foundation.
This year, the event will take place April 29 - May 1 at The Streeters Center in Traverse City, featuring over 100 female artists exhibiting and selling original art.
We are really excited about the event this year it has been really ramped up with addition of the Tickled Pink, our opening night celebration on Friday, said co-chair Jen Hutchinson.
Tickled Pink will feature celebrity waitstaff from the area serving drinks and food. The ticketed event on Friday, April 29 includes a separate dance area featuring national touring seven-piece funk band Soul Xpress and goes from 6 to 10 p.m.
Tickled Pink is designed to be a joyful celebration of our community and will include brilliant art incredible music delicious food. It is the must attend event of the year, said Hutchinson. We have some really breathtaking artwork this year and once again, artists are donating 20 percent of their sales to the Womens Cancer Fund at Munson Medical Center, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the art raffles will go to the Fund.
NO TICKET REQUIRED
The rest of the weekend does not require a ticket and is open to the public. The juried fine arts exhibit and sale on Saturday and Sunday as in previous years will accept donations at the door. Hours are 10 am-6 pm Saturday and Sunday 11 am 4 pm. Folk musicians will perform during Saturdays show and harpists will play on Sunday.
We have a deep commitment to the three main goals of From Womens Hands, said Hutchinson. The exhibit will raise awareness of the Womens Cancer Fund, and increase public awareness about the arts and women artists in this region.
Thousands attend the event each year with $76,000 worth of art being sold at the previous show, and $28,000 being contributed to the Womens Cancer Fund.
Plus we are very fortunate that Doug Street and The Streeters Center has provided their facility at no charge to us, Hutchinson says. This is going to go a long way in making this event very profitable.
Since taking back ownership of Streeters last spring, Doug Street has made his facility available to several non-profits.
We have found a formula that works for the non-profits and for our business plan, so we are happy to do it, Street says. This past fall we hosted Bras for a Cause that raised over $30,000 for breast cancer prevention programs in the region. We have been approached by several other organizations and one was From Womens Hands. We like the format of the event and have helped them line up a great band for opening night.
The Womens Cancer Fund was created in the early 1990s by the Munson Healthcare Regional Foundation to help women in Northern Michigan who have been diagnosed with cancer. Every dollar received is used to provide financial assistance when other means have been exhausted. This includes prosthetics, transportation and child care during treatment, home medications and more. For info on the program, contact Ruth Bloomer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 935-6482 or contact Laurie Patrick, Oncology Patient Educator, Munson Medical Center at 935-6921.
Tickets for Tickled Pink are $20 per person and are available online at FromWomensHands.com or GroundZeroOnline.com/tickets.asp, or in person at McMillens Creative Custom Framing, 326 E. Front St. TC. Goody bags will be given to the first 300 who purchase tickets in advance. Anyone interested in participating with exhibiting art or would like to assist can check out FromWomensHands.com or call Jen Hutchinson at 231-218-0096.