Community in change

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 6/20/2013, 11:33 a.m.

The Mackey twins are, in fact, twin sisters. Their love of art began over 35 years ago, when they were public school teachers. The gallery opened about 10 years ago. Over the years, their motto has taken form as they have made a commitment to "develop communities of collectors by exposing all races to artists of color." According to the Mackeys, some of the highlights of their career were when they were awarded the National Conference of Artists 2012 Black Art History Makers Award at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, when they became the recipients of the key to the city of Mount Vernon, N.Y., for art advocacy and when artist Leroy Campbell presented them with a piece he made exclusively for the them called "Twin" for their support. You might call it all in a day's work. A special acknowledgment was given to Byron and Sylvia Lewis, the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce and the Harlem Arts Alliance.

Honored at the annual Stir, Splatter +Roll Gala was fashion designer Jeffrey Banks. Banks accompanied his mother, Eleanor Banks, to the event, and boy, was she ever so stunning. The award was presented by Publicolor, a New York City nonprofit organization that believes in the psychological effects that color has in improving the educational development of children. Publicolor boasts that it is a "design-based program offering academic support to at-risk youth, while providing life skills, career exposure workshops, college counseling, summer job placement, tutoring and mentoring." Accordingly, the mission statement reads, "Central to our mission is the beautification and revitalization of public and civic spaces through the affordable medium of paint and collaborations that engage the students and the community as a whole."

The Summer Design Studio is a seven-week summer enrichment program, where teens are taught literacy and math through the scaffold of product design. Design and SAT preparation classes are held on the Pratt Institute campus so that students can experience the reality of college. Summer Design Studio also offers disadvantaged youth crucial employment and work experience: Every afternoon, students are involved in painting under-resourced but vital neighborhood facilities.

The Design on a Dime annual charity event is being held on April 26-27, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th St. between Sixth and Seventh avenues, to benefit the Housing Works thrift shops. More than 50 of the world's top interior designers come together to create beautiful room vignettes full of donated merchandise, which is all sold at 50 to 70 percent off retail pricing to benefit Housing Works' wonderful programs that support people in New York City living with HIV/AIDS. Currently, Housing Works' newest development is called the Hull Street Residence, which is being built from the ground up as a beautiful and safe housing residence for 30 formerly homeless adults living with HIV/AIDS.

I can definitely say I support Housing Works because my apartment is full of beautiful items I have bought from Housing Works. It is always a pleasure to shop at any of the outlets because I always find something that is different, unique and of good quality. And is the price right? Yes it is! The price is right for the Design on a Dime event, because it is free and open to the public. Go ahead and splurge a little; it's spring.

Until next week ... kisses.