By Ted AYALA
Connie Grisham is no stranger to St. George’s Episcopal Church in La Cañada. Local laity and clergy know her well for the charity events she organizes at the church. But this time around, her work touches on the personal.
“One of my best friends has Parkinson’s disease,” she explained in a phone interview earlier this week. “She has a printing press and she does her art. It’s a struggle, but she gets ahead. What I want in this event is for the proceeds to go not for treatment, but for a cure.”
Grisham is referring to the “Art and Music Salon” to be held at St. George’s on Sat., February 7. It was the idea of the 19th century salon, the way in which it brought together artists from different disciplines and genres, that inspired the latest fundraiser.
Local painters, poets, and musicians will gather at the church to raise awareness and funds to fight Parkinson’s disease.
“[The salon] engages the audience, makes them feel they’re part of the artistic happenings,” Grisham said. “We encourage our guests to walk around and participate while the musicians play and the artists work. It’s a more involving experience.”
Providing the music will be the violin and cello duo of Nancy Ross and Mary Ann Steinberger, both of them frequent guests at St. George’s.
Over the phone, Grisham’s delight over the duo’s musical excellence was almost palpable.
“They’re such wonderful musicians,” she said. “Very special.”
Joining them will be painters Lois Zanteson and Monica Martin. Both of them will not only be presenting their artworks, but will also be painting new works on the spot for the audience. Along with them will be poet Mary Torrogrosso who will be auctioning off some of her poetry, as well as composing some new poems at the event. Grisham explained that guests can also join her to compose poems of their own.
“I’ve seen guests compose their own poetry for the first time [at previous events],” she recalled. “It can be something very moving for everybody to see something like that happen.”
Grisham has high hopes that the event will not only be something that helps out the cause of those stricken with Parkinson’s, but that it will also be something that brings the community together.
“It’s going to be a time to be with friends,” she said. “People can sit and listen to the music, walk around, talk to our artists, or simply reflect. We leave it open to our guests how they want to participate. The important thing is that they feel welcomed and part of it all.”
St. George’s “Art and Music Salon” will be held Sat., February 7 beginning at 4:00 p.m. A silent auction will also be held during the event. Refreshments will be available. Admission is free to the public and all proceeds will go to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
For more information on the event, please go online to www.saintglc.org or call the church at (818)790-3323.