rise in the city Raises Funds and Awareness

The nonprofit rise held its inaugural fundraiser, rise in the city, on October 25 at the Angel Orensanz Foundation, 172 Norfolk St, New York. The inspiring art exhibit, auction and social gathering was attended by over 280 people including many leaders from the design and architecture community.

Distinguished architecture firms, designers, and artists from 15 states and 11 countries created 76 original artworks for the event.  The art was magnificently displayed at one of the oldest surviving gothic-revival synagogues in the USA. 

Artists combined elements of one of 100 assigned “blocks” around New York with representations of Lesotho, the location of rise’s architectural project and beneficiary of the fundraiser. 

All the artwork is available for auction at www.32auctions.com/ritc2017 So far 27 pieces have sold for a total of $15,000, and the event raised another $15,000 for the project through sponsorships and ticket sales.

Prominent judges Michael Sorkin, Jack Travis, Laura Starr, Suzanne Mecs, and Oliver Needs selected the top 10 pieces using specific guidelines.

The grand prizewinner was designer Abiy Dejene from architecture firm BOKA Powell, sponsored by TriPyramid Structures for his plaster relief sculpture Mother Lesotho. Abiy won a 10-day trip to Lesotho to participate in the in loco workshop, which will combine local talent and international expertise in a hands-on learning experience to construct a dormitory at the God’s Love Centre Orphanage in Lesotho. 

Abiy was presented with a traditional Lesotho blanket and hat and says, “I feel very honored. I was not expecting to win I was just glad to be part of it. There were many really great arts and artists at the gallery. I want to give back for this good cause. By being part of the fundraising I wish to help inspire the Lesotho people and help build strong community though education, resources and the right opportunity to gain experience.” The runner-up was Beauty and the Beast by Audrey Matlock and Rohan Cherayil from architecture firm Audrey Matlock Architect sponsored by Oakheart.

Event highlights included remarks from His Excellency Mr. Kelebone Maope, Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Lesotho to the United Nations, live African entertainment from Nigerian band Floxy Bee, and a cocktail reception with lots of networking and dancing.

Proceeds will benefit rise, a nonprofit organization whose programs combine architecture with social enterprise to address poverty in vulnerable African communities like Lesotho in Southern Africa.  rise is co-founded by BOND Events as an integral part of its corporate social responsibility program.

The program’s social enterprise component will also establish an Entrepreneurship and Work Skills Development Program for the orphans, as well as build the management capacity of the God’s Love Centre’s staff.

“We are thrilled with the success of our first rise in the city fundraiser.  The feedback has been outstanding, and we are well on our way to our fundraising goal of $75,000.  It takes a dedicated team to pull it all together, and I’m grateful to them, to the participants, and to the artists and sponsors who made it all possible.” says Daniela Gusman, Founder of rise.

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