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As mentioned in other places, I am a big advocate for the arts! The arts make the world a prettier and better place. The artists of the world speak for everyone and help us see the world as it really is.

Pieces in my collection from the artists listed here include (photos above, l to r): Turtle drawing by April Moon, based on a concept by me; Goddess by Susan Elaine; The Red Table by Alison Scheel; and Turtle with Autumn Leaves by Theresa Pedrotti.



Artists
As Rebecca Holden, a former marketing client and artist, said, "Art is Life. Life is Art." Here are some artists that I really like.

Wren's Eye Creations
SusanElaine is a fantastic artist. She makes jewelry, creates dolls, does ceramics, makes puppets, makes her own beads, etc. I'm so thankful to own some of her pieces! She also does work on commission.

Yarn Rescue
This woman makes her own handspun yarn, and grows flowers to make the dye. And recycles old sweaters into new yarn.... How cool is that??!?! She also sells hand-made monster needles and spinning yarn.

Colored Earth
Theresa Pedrotti paints using traditional egg tempera (egg yolk and water) and handmade pigments she refines herself. I am lucky enough to own one of her paintings, Turtle with Autumn Leaves, detail shown above.

Yellobee Studio
Alison Scheel creates beautiful work -- so lovely that I commissioned her to paint a piece for me - The Red Table, shown above. She mostly works as a graphic designer (but I don't hold that against her).

Patchouli
This two-person band makes awesome music! You can listen to their music on their MySpace page. They let me join the band - check out the pic! Bruce, 1/2 of the band, also creates gorgeous paintings.


Authors
I'm an avid reader, so there are far too many authors to mention, but here are the ones I find myself reading the most. If you're a bibliophile like I am, you MUST join PaperBackSwap.com. It's free, it's easy, and it's seriously the best thing EVER!



K.D. McCrite
I met K.D. when she joined my writers' group, Ozark Writers' Block. We've been fast friends ever since. She has a whole bunch of books in the works. Her series, Confessions of April Grace, is a funny look at the Ozarks, as seen through the eyes of 11-year-old April Grace in 1986. Go buy the two that are out now! Buy her books on Amazon: In Front of God and Everybody and Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks.

Jeffrey Koterba
Jeff is one of the few editorial cartoonists left in the US. He works for the Omaha World-Herald and creates amazing and spot-on pieces. His memoir, Inklings, is one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Go out and buy it! Immediately! I got to meet Jeff when I dragged him down to Harrison, Ark., to have an exhibit of his cartoons, give talks to local highschoolers, and perform with his band. Buy his book on Amazon.

Terry Pratchett
I love everything PTerry has written. Seriously. I own damn near all his books, AND I subscribe to two monthly ezines! Part social satire, part hilarity, part righteous jabs at every thing and everyone, these books feature a world that isn't all that different than our own. Except for the part about riding about on the back of a turtle. Which sits on five elephants. Otherwise, it's just the same. Seriously. I got to meet Sir PTerry at the first North American Discworld Convention in 2009. Buy his books on Amazon.

Charles de Lint
De Lint writes "urban fantasy" -- beautifully written books about the human condition with a bit of myth and legend thrown in for good measure. He's also an amazing musician, and a damn nice guy! I had the pleasure of meeting him and his lovely wife MaryAnn Harris at the Tucson Festival of Books in 2011. Buy his books on Amazon.


Harrison, Arkansas, Arts Organizations
The Lyric Theater & Ozark Arts Council
Presents plays, movies, concerts, and more, all in a historic movie theater. I'm currently serving on the Board of Directors, and assist with marketing initiatives. I also serve as the Webmaster.

Harrison Art League
Dedicated to supporting artists in the Ozarks.

Artists of the Ozarks gallery & gifts
A co-operative gallery on the Historic Harrison Square.


Atlanta Arts Organizations
Center for Puppetry Arts
This is one of my favorite arts orgs. Nowhere else can you see a show, see puppets from around the world, and take a workshop. Stop driving by and stop in!!!! (I also did this Web site!)

Synchronicity Performance Group
Women producing beautiful, edgy works on the stage.

Atlanta Performs
Read all about the arts in Atlanta. Quit whining there's nothing to see or do, and get out there!


Causes
Besides being an advocate for the arts, I have a couple other causes that are near and dear to my heart. If these causes aren't important to you, find something that is and make a difference!

Locks of Love
According to the Locks of Love Web site, "Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. ... The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers." I have grown out my hair and donated it three times. To see my before & after pics, click here.

Searching for Angela Shelton
Filmmaker Angela Shelton set out on a journey to meet every other Angela Shelton in America. What she discovered was that 24 out of 40 Angela Sheltons she spoke to had been raped, beaten or molested just like she was. This site is an homage to courage, and speaking out. I am an Angela Shelton. Purchase the movie on Amazon.

Asha Imports
Located here in Harrison, Asha imports free trade items from India. Their mission is to be a voice for people who have no voice. They distribute products made by people who have been given a chance to rise above their circumstances and take back their humanity.