Naked Pleading

Normally I wouldn't use this space to ask for a favor, but this is important.

If you've been reading what I write here for any length of time, you probably know that I teach comics and cartooning for 6th and 7th grade kids here in Seattle.

One of the things we do every year is table at the Emerald City Comics Convention. The students do sketches, sign their comics... it's a great experience for everyone.

We're going to be there again this weekend. Tables M-19 and M-20 in Artist's Alley, come and say hello if you're there.

Okay? That was the preface. Here is the important part.

Yesterday my boss, Katie, who runs all the after-school arts programs at Madison Middle School, told me rather bleakly that we were having a budget crisis.

The program is administrated through the YMCA. We get half our funding from the city, and the other half comes from the Y's Partners With Youth program.

Partners with Youth is a pledge-driven donor program. And in the current economy -- no surprise -- pledges are way, way down. Katie went on to explain that there was in fact a $20,000 shortfall this year. And she asked me if it would be okay if she came and hung out at our table with a box for donations to PWY for a while on Saturday, in hopes of bringing in a few bucks for the after-school program and getting the word out.

I thought we could do a little better than that and told her so. We'll have the donations box at our table all weekend, and I'll go so far as to add anyone who goes $10 or higher will get a sketch from one of our artists. I am pretty sure that Katrina, Aja, and Rachel will all be sketching...

[caption id="attachment_44826" align="alignnone" width="600" caption="As you can see, the girls are getting really good. That's Katrina's on the left, Aja's on the right."]


...and if you want something a little more old-school, I'll be sketching as well.

Frankly, I think the girls are better than I am, but we'll all be in there pitching.

The point is, it's for a good cause. This helps keep the AfterSchool Arts Program free of charge to any kid who wants in on it. That's Cartooning with me, and it's also Drama and Dance and Young Authors and a whole raft of other stuff.

Almost every time I've put a column up about my students, someone comments how much they wish there'd been a program like the cartooning class available when they were kids, and how nice it is that it exists now. If you genuinely feel that way, and you are at the con this weekend, drop a buck or two in the box, or dig a little deeper, kick in ten bucks or more and get a cool sketch.

And if you happen to be there on Saturday morning when Katie is there, if the spirit moves you, please let her know what a rock star she is for scrambling for the money to keep us publishing student comics and getting the kids to shows and so on and so on. I just teach the class. Katie fights the budget fights for all of us. She's the real hero.

if you can't make it to the show but you still want to help out, feel free to take advantage of the Seattle YMCA web site and send a couple of bucks that way. Here's a link. Just let them know it's part of the Partners With Youth drive.

Thanks for listening.

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