Featured Organization of the Month: ROOTS

By Caleb Hoopingarner

Let me be the first to welcome you to May. Anyone else a little freaked out that we are a third of the way through 2014? At the beginning of this year, we launched a new program with the sole purpose of using our resources and platforms to talk about organizations that are making a difference here in our community. At this point, we are focusing on one new organization per month, though we realize that there are many more doing things worthy of praise. For the month of May, we are promoting a program developed over 10 years ago with the intention of exposing art in all forms to children between the ages of 6 and 12.

Completely funded from community donations and sponsorships, the ROOTS program is free and open to all children in Manatee County. The program was started as a collaboration between Healthy Start Manatee (healthystartmanatee.com) and the Manatee County Cultural Alliance (manateearts.org). The program is directed by Scott Blum, ESE Specialist for Manatee County School Board, Leymis Bolanos-Wilmont, director of Fuzion Dance Artists, and Rick Kirby, Artistic Director of Manatee Players Theatre. All 3 are passionate about exposing the children to all forms of art, all are performers, and all have been with the program since its inception.

The children involved in the program are from diverse backgrounds and often from low income families and rarely have the exposure to the arts in the way that ROOTS provides. This year the ROOTS summer program will have day long programs over the duration of a week and the children will experience visual arts, drama, music, dance, drumming, literary arts, and much more! The summer program culminates in a performance and/or celebration put on by the children.

The ROOTS program is currently at a crucial point; the children and artists are ready to go, but they do not have the necessary funds at this point to make it happen this summer. They want to make sure that year 11 is the best one yet, and are asking if the community can help!

Here are some details on this year’s ROOTS summer program:

When: Tuesday, June 17 through Friday, June 20th

Where: Trinity Lutheran Church
2200 26th St W
Bradenton, FL 34205

Time: 9:00am-4:00pm daily (lunch provided)

***** Registration is required*****
The program is in need of monetary donations to purchase supplies for this year’s program.

If you’d like to make a donation to ROOTS, please do so by making checks payable to:

Healthy Start
Designate: ROOTS program

If you’re mailing your cash or check in, please send it to the attention of Luz Corcuera.
On behalf of the ROOTS program and those involved, including those here at Keeton’s, thank you for your consideration. We believe that what ROOTS is doing is fulfilling a huge need for the children in our local community.

For further information, please call Scott Blum, Program Director at 941-778-0392.

In addition to the funds raised by the community, Keeton’s is also going to make a monetary donation to the ROOTS Program, but we need your help!

You might be familiar with CAN JAM- a graffiti art event we hosted in our parking lot last month. On April 12th a large crowd gathered to watch 8 talented artists battle it out over a 4 hour period. Artists competed by painting large murals using Montana Spray Paint cans and the end results were breathtaking. If you attended our event, or follow us on Facebook, it’s likely that you’ve fallen in love with a particular piece from CAN JAM. Well, now you have a chance to own your favorite mural from the night. That’s right; you can own an original piece done by one of the CAN JAM artists!

Keeton’s will be partnering with Realize Bradenton in Pickin’ Picnic, a free event at the Riverwalk Pavilion. The CAN JAM murals will be auctioned off at the event and a portion of proceeds will go to ROOTS, an organization dedicated to exposing children to art (visual arts, drama, music, dance, drumming, literary arts, and much more) that wouldn’t normally have exposure to these things. Currently, ROOTS does not have the funding it needs for the programs this summer so this is the perfect opportunity to help out a local organization in need.

A little about Pickin’ Picnic…

Aside from the silent auction, there will be live music, craft brews, and a food truck battle (with guest celebrity judge). Don’t miss out on this great event brought to you by Realize Bradenton! View the event details below.

Pickin’ Picnic
Sunday May 25, 2014
Riverwalk Pavilion
Admission: FREE

Please help spread the word about the ROOTS program and their needs for this summer. Anything you can to do help is needed. If you can donate money, that is great! If you want to participate in the silent auction, that would be amazing too! If you want to give supplies to the children, that would be incredible. Thank you again for considering the ROOTS program this summer! If we all come together, we can certainly make a difference!

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