Chart charity art

magazine for charities & creative people

Pegasus (UCF) May/June 2006

 

Pegasus (University of Central Florida Alumni magazine), May/June 2006

Angie Lewis
‘chART’ING SUCCESS
A little more than two years ago Casey Swann, ‘83, was writing screenplays and books during a year hiatus from her advertising job.
But instead of continuing to solicit clients in the corporate world, Swann decided to pursue her passion for the arts and start up her own “go-to” source for creative expression in Orlando. chART, short for charity art collection, is Swann’s newest promotion within her agency, Cutting Edge Communications, which she has owned for 15 years.
March marked the first anniversary of the chART program, which last year sold 238 pieces to art lovers. Twenty percent of each of those purchases was donated to the buyer’s charity of choice, benefiting nearly 70 different charities.
“[The anniversary event] was a 20 on a scale from on to 10, “ Swann said of the party, which included art, live music, and food and wine from local restaurants and bars. “Everything surprises me every day. I’m surprised by the synergy of all the good things that happen within this promotion [charity art].”
chART currently represents about 20 artists and has about 500 pieces of contracted art. But Swann wants to broaden her scope.
“I would like to bring more promotions for the performing arts, music and film, as well as some of the other creative arts, “ she said. An example of this effort, Swann buys 100 of the best tickets for the Orlando Ballet and resells them to friends. “I want to encourage people to experience other art forms – not just the visual arts.”
She also plans to eventually expand chART into four other Florida markets, including Sarasota, Naples, Palm Beach and Miami.
Casey Swann isn’t the only UCF alumna involved in the charity art program. Tracy (Rosof) Petersen, ‘82, and Jann (Banks) Stanton, ‘83, are two of the artists whose works are for sale through chART.
Swann’s friendship with Stanton began in high school. “Jann would have slumber parties, and we would do crafts,” Swann said. “She was an artist even then.” Petersen was Swann’s college roommate. “She was a pottery major and never around, because she was always at the kiln.”
While she was a student, Swann was involved in many extracurricular activities that she credits for her success today, including selling ads for The Central Florida Future student newspaper, serving as vice president of Quotes (the professional ad/PR club for students) and working as a freelancer for an ad agency, where she had an opportunity to do all of the creative and media buying for a graduate studies media campaign titled “Major Advantage.”
“All of those activities together, in addition to my classroom education, completely prepared me for my career,” Swann said.
She remains involved with UCF today. chART has a presence with the UCF Women’s Club fundraising event, as well as the Nicholson School of Communication Wine Stroll.
“There’s never been one day when I haven’t loved what I do,” Swann said. “That was based on a good, solid education that gave me a lot of opportunities, and my degree at UCF put it all in motion.”