non-profit

Caritas of Austin

I just love D'Vaughncee's smile. Man. He's amazing.

I just love D'Vaughncee's smile. Man. He's amazing.

For the past year I've had the amazing luck of partnering with Caritas of Austin on a number of their big projects in need of photos, such as their website redesign and their annual fundraiser.

Caritas of Austin serves an extremely critical role in the Austin community helping end homelessness with a multi-pronged approach. Here's their mission: 

"We build well-being by making sure that people have a safe home, access to healthy groceries, jobs that provide a reliable living wage, and educational opportunities to learn life skills."

Their impact over the past year has been nothing short of awesome:

Lindsey! My wonderful contact at Caritas.

Lindsey! My wonderful contact at Caritas.

  • Helping to resettle 631 refugees from 16 different countries
  • Helping to house 378 homeless families
  • And, providing education for 830 people. 

In a time when 40.7% of the US voting population approve of Tr*mp(as of 2/7/2018), when the needs of the most vulnerable people are being actively neglected on a daily basis, the role that organizations like Caritas play in our communities are all the more important! And, the roles that we can play as volunteers using our unique skillsets (or our money) help further their mission and the people affected by it.

Samba in the upholstery workshop

Samba in the upholstery workshop

This is where the pictures come in :) For their big fundraiser we created picture profiles of some of the people they've helped to find housing and jobs for. The people I photographed couldn't have been more wonderful!

Samba is a refugee migrating first out of Africa, then Russia, and then to the US.

Karen finally got a garden that she is just bringing to life.

D'Vaughncee is all kindness and smiles

And, Frank is working to stabilize things in his life after years on the move

Karen teaching us about the plants in her new garden

Karen teaching us about the plants in her new garden

As you can see, in this post I've added several of my favorite pictures. I'm sorry that the pictures seem to go on forever it's just so clear how awesome these people are, how important Caritas is, and how truly negligent it is for our elected officials to refuse to empathize and understand that: we all have the same needs; that we are all the product of our opportunities and experiences; that race, income, gender, and sexual orientation have a huge say in the opportunities and experiences that we're afforded; and that we need to lift up our fellow humans to decrease inequity in our communities. 

JUMP! Go ahead and jump!

JUMP! Go ahead and jump!

Thank you so much, Caritas of Austin, for allowing me to be a part of your work! If you'd like to volunteer with Caritas of Austin you can find opportunities here. If you don't live in Austin or would like to find other volunteer opportunities, you can head over to Volunteer Match (or just email any organization with out of the blue and let them know what you're good at and how you'd like to help... that's what I did).

Have a wonderful week and make someone's day.



The Blanton Museum - Soundspace

I love this work soooooo much. This wonderful neon sculpture was created by Taveres Strachan. His other awesome works can be found at https://www.facebook.com/TavaresStrachan/

I love this work soooooo much. This wonderful neon sculpture was created by Taveres Strachan. His other awesome works can be found at https://www.facebook.com/TavaresStrachan/

So well-behaved

So well-behaved

I had the privilege of working with The Blanton Museum to take photos of their AWESOME event, SoundSpace: Refugees. The event featured "works written by, performed by, or depicting the experience of refugees. These performances occur throughout the museum in galleries featuring art that touch on refugee themes." It was just gorgeous. People were wonderful, so much diversity in ages and people, and beautiful art in motion and sound on display.

For those that haven't been to The Blanton, it is this succulent jewel of a building on the fringes of the University of Texas at Austin's campus. After you pass through the arches that border the outside entry way, you proceed past the ticket desk (after buying your ticket, duh), and then you're enveloped by this spectacular main hall (you can see it in the background behind my two well-behaved kids). The tile is this rich, marbelized turquoise that reminds me of a flattened bowling ball. And above you hangs a massive ceramic chandelier that looks like a mixture of human organs, plants, and intestines (picture below). My description makes it sound awful and I'm not doing the Blanton or the artist any favors, but I promise it comes from a place of awe and happiness. It's spectacular!

One of the spectacular dancers with a full choir in the background

One of the spectacular dancers with a full choir in the background

So, imagine this exceptional space (so poorly described above) filled with all the vibrancy of artists, musicians, dancers, and singers who are posted-up throughout the Blanton's rooms with their performances bringing static art to life. If there's a better, more child-friendly way of getting kids and families into fine art museums I'd love to hear about it! You can find all of the Blanton's upcoming events here.

Brent Baldwin performing with the backing of a full choir

Brent Baldwin performing with the backing of a full choir

SoundSpace: Refugees is just one performance in a series that The Blanton puts on every couple months. The next SoundSpace event is happening in just two weeks (September September 24, 2017) reflecting on the life of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitanda. I'll be there with my kids taking photos, so if you see us definitely say "hi"!

Enjoy!