Carroll residents will join other amateur artists from around the country on Tuesday, Oct. 24, to put brush to canvas and support those in Puerto Rico still struggling after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
Meltdown DIY Art Studio in Eldersburg is joining 24 other art studios Tuesday evening to host a Paint for Puerto Rico night, where guests will be taught to paint an image of a famous Puerto Rican door in San Juan. Proceeds of the event will go to support Harimau Conservation, a Puerto Rican-based nonprofit working with restoration efforts and looking to build long-term sustainable infrastructure.
Lisa Feltz, owner of Meltdown, said the event came about through her friendship with another pottery painting store in New Jersey. Tammie Ramos-Crispino, owner of Fire Me Up Studio in Cranford, New Jersey, said she came up with the idea while following along with the devastation in Puerto Rico.
"I am from Puerto Rico and I felt we needed to do something," Ramos-Crispino said. "When our event sold out in just a couple of days, I decided to open it up to other studios we have [an] association with. The idea was to do something positive and have a fun night, all while raising money to help those in need."
The 25 participating art studios will all work simultaneously on the same art project at the same time. During the event, the founders of Harimau Conservation will host a Skype interview where they will discuss their work in Puerto Rico and the restoration efforts.
"They're a group that's actively looking to not only to help with food and shelter but also in thinking forward and providing things like solar energy and environmentally conscious housing," Ramos-Crispino said. "They're not just thinking about the immediate. It takes a really long time for these kinds of restoration efforts."
Feltz said it was Harimau Conservation's direct connection to Puerto Rico that excited her about the opportunity to partner with them.
"If you make a donation, you sometimes don't know if it's going to get where you need it to go," Feltz said. "This way there are direct receipts. I know the money is going to Puerto Rico directly, and it's going to get there fast."
She also said these kinds of fundraising opportunities are vital for a small business.
"You have to give back to a community," Feltz said. "It's a partnership. You have to give in order to get support from the people."