Paying it Forward

When my oldest daughter was three, she loved for me to read to her a little book titled, Sweet Surprises. I am not sure why she liked that book so much. Three-year-old children are mysterious–or maybe adults are too predictable. Nonetheless, for a short while I read that book to her at nap time, bedtime, and sometimes in the morning before I was barely awake with coffee in hand. The story featured a little girl who performed good deeds throughout the day for her mom. These good deeds, as you may have guessed, were the sweet surprises.

I don’t know if my now-thirteen-year-old daughter remembers this book. From the looks of her room, probably not. However, I remember the story. On occasion, I snicker to myself when I think about the book. The simplicity. I also think about how cynical I can be sometimes when I here about these supposed random acts of kindness.

Yesterday afternoon, after our Ignite class ended class participants milled around talking. One of the participants (whom I really admire) approached me with a check. C4 Atlanta offered her half off tuition through a scholarship. The scholarships we offer are made possible by individual contributions dedicated to Ignite and by the Possible Futures Foundation. She said she was in a better position financially this month so she wanted to pay back the scholarship. She mentioned that she really enjoys the class and it has helped inspire the next phase of her artistic journey. I was moved. Sincerely. It was a sweet surprise.

This money will allow us to open up one more scholarship for our March/April seminar. It’s not a million dollar grant, but the gesture means so much to C4 Atlanta. Artists are severely underemployed in this city. It is not easy to come up with money for professional development; however, this year I have learned to never make assumptions about who will give and who will not. Some of our greatest supporters are artists.

For everyone who has given to C4 Atlanta to help support our artist community, thank you. You know who you are.

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