Aug 31, 2010

Giving Away My Work For Free!

I had the pleasure of sitting down and really getting to hear Mark Federman, the principle of East Side Community High School, speak passionately about education, the arts, his school, and most importantly near to his heart, his students. This guy is the real deal. He's been living out of a tent on the street in front of his school for over a week now to raise awareness for his school. All because of a promise that he made to his kids as a mentor and leader that they all look up to and admire. KOHL's is giving away ten million dollars that will be split up between 20 schools, each getting 500,000 and Mark really wants this for his. It's a voting game. Unfortunately they're on the low end of the technology spectrum(due to current funding) which makes promoting this cause all that more of an uphill battle against many of the private schools currently holding the top 20 positions. It would be really unfortunate to see all of these awards only go to privately funded schools and not deserving Title 1 schools like East Side High that really are desperately in need of a boost like this to change the lives of the students there permanently.

Mark and I spoke for about a half an hour, but it didn't take more than a few minutes to see the energy in Mark's eyes even though he'd only had three hours of sleep the night before. He introduced me to their current arts program and all of the things they currently pull off with a non-existing budget, including a full gallery that they do student exhibitions in for the community to help raise money for the arts. In fact, pretty much anything that is outside of the lean and stripped down "norm" has to be personally funded out of his own pocket and other teachers at the school. We both conversed on our passion for a solid balance of technology with the arts in the classroom. This money would help fund a new mac lab where his students can access the equipment they need for a proper introduction to the graphic arts, computer illustration, and video production. In addition to this he has a pretty extensive list filled with after school programming, some fine tuning, and just making the overall experience a better one for his students.

So here's whats up. I need you to vote for very a deserving school that really needs our help and has lit up many faces on a street nearby where I live. In exchange I'm going to give you my work for free. This will not cost you a penny (I'm covering shipping costs too). Only about 30 seconds of your time will be needed for the voting. Mark has literally been camping out and living in front of the school for the past week in order to raise awareness for the needs of his school and the students that walk it's hallways. His ambition and determination has inspired me. He's out there doing exactly what every person in a leadership role should be doing in their community. He's lit a flame in everyone around him, brought together the community with his students, faculty, and parents and given them all hope and a dream worth coming together for. Bottom line, it's always near and dear to my heart when I see someone that's willing to go the extra mile and show the world they care... especially when it's for the kids.

I realize that we are bombarded by proposals on the internet non stop which is why I understand the value of a little bribe in order to elicit action. So go vote for East Side Community High School in the KOHL's Cares For Kids contest on Facebook to help them realize this dream of winning $500,000 and I will ship you a print of your choice that is hand signed and dated completely for free to anywhere in the world.

Here's how it works...

This must be done by Friday, September 3rd in order for it to count.

Go to this site

You have to have a Facebook account to vote - if you don't have one it's really easy to sign up for one quickly at

Login to facebook.

Then search for East Side Community High School on the

Now Vote for East Side Community High School!... and make sure you vote 5 times for them. You can vote 5 times for one school.


This is important! Take a screenshot of the webpage that shows your name and picture proving to me that you voted. (How to Take a Screenshot in Microsoft Windows: | How to Take a Screenshot in Mac OS X: )

Now email that screenshot picture file as an attachment to along with the name of the print you want from the RTD Store as well as your mailing address.

And don't forget to go tell all of your friends!

Done. And thank you kindly :)


Why am I doing this? I've got a few reasons.

1. I've walked by here at all hours over the past week and whether it's morning, afternoon, or night, this school's steps have been lit up with smiling faces and people who genuinely care about their futures. And that makes me care. I also had the opportunity to sit down with Mark Federman, the principle of East Side Community High, and listen to him passionately speak about how profoundly this money would benefit his students, especially in the arts and technology.

2. I'm just a sucker for people who give a damn. All great things that materialize start off as an idea. An idea that is then fueled with emotion, heart, and perseverance by someone who cares. East Side High is a perfect example of this. Let's give these kids the recognition they deserve and make believers out of each and every one of them that have volunteered their time for this cause.

3. It's in my best interest to care about this school because every afternoon these kids repopulate my neighborhood. And the better educated and well rounded they all are the better chance that the future of this area that I live in will be a positive and fulfilling environment for all.

4. I am still just plain fascinated by the power of the internet and humans. How the influence of a few can generate a tidal wave of reaction. And that just maybe, if I send this on to the people that I know and then they forward it on to there friends. A little public school in the East Village of NY, that caught my attention through a 7 year old volunteer with a blue flyer and a principal sleeping in a tent, can see this dream materialize. Something like this will be more profound than we could ever imagine for these students.

Please vote 5 times for East Side Community High at

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Jesse Kuhn



Awesome way to get involved, consider my five votes counted!

rawtoastdesign illustration said...

thanks again for the support! sorry for the delayed reply :)


jesse / editorial illustrator