Last Saturday, Local Ethiopian Community members, Ethiopia Reads supporters, Local artists, Ethiopian Reads Board members and volunteers gather at Kings hall in Seattle, to help and fundraise for Ethiopian Reads. The second annual OPEN HEARTS BIG DREAMS has bold goals of 250 guests and raising $75,000 to allow Ethiopia Reads to do even more for children it serves in Ethiopia. Some of the plans and the goals Ethiopian Reads are working on are:

  • Finishing off a project to plant one model school library in each region of Ethiopia and a new school library for coffee-growing families.
  • Launching an initiative to create seven school learning centers in the Kembata-Tembaro region.
  • Conducting pilot projects for community libraries in the Merkato region of Addis Ababa and in the towns of Dukum and Awassa.
  • Launching a new professional development effort for Ethiopian educators in all of the sixty + libraries and several schools Ethiopia Reads planted in the past 7-8 years.

I showed my work on the event with another local artist, Sultan. As I did in the first Open Dreams and Big Hearts 1, I painted a featured piece which is auctioned to help the cause. I also talked about the inspiration behind the painting.

The inspiration behind the painting was the story of Professor Gebisa Ejeta 2009 World Food Prize Laureate, Science Envoy of President Barack Obama.

Great event and good day for Ethiopian Kids. I am really grateful for the dedication and work of Ethiopian Reads Board Members (Ann Porter, Chris Kurtz, Jane Kurtz, Frew Tibebu, Malcolm Clark, Matt Andrea, Maureen Evans, Lindsay Moore, Amleset Desta and Tigist Selam) volunteers, Seattle Ethiopian Community, greater Seattle community and also Ellenore Angelidis and her husband Micheal Angelidis and their kids plus Amy Ng.

Here are some of the photos from the event.