From February 7-11, 2020, Christie’s New York hosted an innovative exhibition, Educate: A Charity Exhibition, Benefiting the Luminos Fund, that raised over $80,000 for children’s education. Luminos works to ensure children everywhere get a chance to experience joyful learning, especially those denied an education by poverty, conflict, and discrimination. We believe rich “five senses” learning is possible even in the poorest corners of the globe.
The lively Educate Opening Reception on Friday, February 7 spanned multiple galleries at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza location, featuring an exhibition of 38 up-and-coming artists, silent auction, a SPIN ping-pong tournament, and live performances. Student artworks by Syrian refugee children in the Luminos Fund’s Lebanon program were also exhibited and auctioned. Artnet News highlighted the event as “not to miss.”
“All 38 artists in the exhibition generously donated a work to the silent auction, the full proceeds of which were donated to the Luminos Fund,” said Celine Cunha of Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art and co-Chairman of Employee Initiatives, who spearheaded the exhibition. “I am humbled to report that over $80,000 USD was raised for Luminos through the silent auction and ticket donations.”
Celine explained her vision for the event: “As an art lover and a Contemporary Art Specialist, I’m aware of the transformative power of art and of the difficulty to be discovered as an artist. It was very important to me, and to my CSR team, to use the Christie’s space, which has been used to set so many world records, to give back to the artistic community directly. It was imperative to me that Educate: A Charity Exhibition serve a charitable purpose by giving back to the larger disenfranchised global community. The overarching purpose of Educate was to highlight and support The Luminos Fund, which provides joyful learning to refugee children in Ethiopia, Lebanon and Liberia, aiding those denied an education due to poverty, conflict and discrimination.”
A Shared Worldview
The Luminos Fund and Christie’s met one year ago when Luminos hosted a small exhibit of some of our students’ artwork, thanks to the generous support of one of our funders. Christie’s employees, including Celine, graciously volunteered their personal time as docents for that event.
Caitlin Baron, CEO of the Luminos Fund, said, “Connecting through our students’ artwork, we realized the Christie’s team and Luminos share an understanding that the drive to create is universal: that the artistic impulse is as strong in Bushwick, Brooklyn as it is in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. We also share a belief that every child has the right to learn and grow in safe, creative spaces.”
Educate: A Charity Exhibition was a remarkable expression of this shared vision.
Oh, What a Night
At the Opening Reception, Christie’s broke a record for number of guests in their galleries. Over the weekend, roughly one thousand people of all walks of life and ages viewed the exhibition.
“The overwhelmingly positive response to Educate has been heartwarming and inspiring,” Celine said. “We were blessed to work with Luminos, who practices what they preach, providing hands-on work in disaster regions and giving the greatest gift of all to children in need: an education.”
The Luminos Fund team felt similarly fortunate to partner with Christie’s on such a unique fundraiser. For Luminos colleagues at the Opening Reception, it was humbling to view the beautiful galleries and artworks, and to speak with many of the artists and guests.
A Second Chance at Education
The outpouring of generosity from Christie’s New York, guests, artists, and SPIN will give more than 500 underprivileged children a second chance at education through Luminos programs — providing learning, creativity, joy, and opportunity to young people who can use it dearly.
Addressing the audience at the Opening Reception, Caitlin said, “We are deeply grateful to Christie’s and all the artists and supporters who have helped make this ambitious exhibition a reality. It is truly incredible what a small group of dedicated people can achieve.”
The Luminos Fund extends heartfelt thanks to Christie’s, especially Celine Cunha and Matthew Capasso, for their generosity and creative vision, and looks forward to continuing this unique collaboration.
To learn more about Christie’s, please visit www.christies.com.