Archive | February, 2013

LEAD WITH YOUR HEART : support suicide prevention Indiegogo

28 Feb


LEAD WITH YOUR HEART : support suicide prevention

Sent(a)Mental Studios and artist/activist Dylan Scholinski NEEDS YOUR HELP to continue the suicide prevention and open studio projects for a WHOLE YEAR !

The short bit –

Suicide continues to be on the rise and youth are dying younger and younger still. I have been opening my studio for nearly 25 years, offering my space and supplies to youth’s self expression. I have been doing what I can to support the variety of issues that confront the youth of our time, including loss, bullying, gender and sexual identities, and struggles with self-esteem to name a few… and now I really need your support to continue in this work.

I recently renamed the Sent(a)Mental Studios Youth Project – the HAVEN YOUTH PROJECT – after a young person who successfully suicided last year on Valentines Day – just 2 days after her 13th birthday. Together, with the permission of Haven’s family, we imagined that Haven could carry on by way of her name and inspiration – to provide safe space, opportunities, and creative outlets for youth to express the feelings and experiences they face when navigating the variety of transitions in their lives.

HAVEN YOUTH PROJECT, as well as many other projects of Sent(a)Mental Studios are supported mainly by Founder/Witness Dylan Scholinski – as well as by additional financial contributions and art supply donations from a variety of community members. Over the 2011/12 school year Sent(a)Mental Studios interacted with over 1,000 young people and its looking like that number is increasing in the current 2012/13 school year. Also in the past couple of years the studio has expanded to include a 2nd location, increased off-site youth groups, classes, open studio environments at conferences and pride events – as well as expanded open studio hours that include open hours over holidays, school vacations, and summer programing.

At this point, i need more than what my love, dedication, and support of this project can provide. Never before has “every little bit helps” rang more true to me – and this is where you can really help.

$12,000 in total will support the project for an entire year.

please help us reach our goal and make a donation today !

love, dylan


The Impact: some ongoing projects of Sent(a)Mental Studios that you would be supporting with a donation include:

Sent(a)Mental Project – A Memorial to LGBTIQQAA Suicides
The Sent(a)Mental Project is an ongoing collection of creative works – about, by,
or for individuals or groups affected by suicide.

CLICK HERE – Sent(a)Mental Memorial Project Video

This is an ongoing collection of stories, pictures, art, etc – in relation to the issues and experiences surrounding suicide. In addition to pieces about those who have successfully committed suicide, the project also includes a variety of survivor stories. I want to hear about and from LGBTIQQAA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Asexual and Allies) people who have survived attempts as well as from those who have loved us. I feel it is important for all of us to be represented and heard. The silence around these issues is killing us. If this project can save just one life that will be good enough, but I believe we have the power to save many.


HAVEN YOUTH PROJECT – (formerly the Sent(a)Mental Studios Youth Project)
HAVEN YOUTH PROJECT provides open studio hours as well as one-on- one sessions with a variety of Denver/Boulder Metro youth – referred by various youth outreach organizations and schools. Students work with artist, Dylan Scholinski, to create their own creative works ( ie: drawing, painting, writing, sculpture, music, performance, zines, photography, storytelling ) to express their individual lives and stories – and reclaim the power and pride of their voices in a safe and supportive space.

CLICK HERE – Video of ART from Sent(a)Mental Studios Youth Project

“I never knew I had art in me”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you”
“I’m sick of being someone else, gender and names and everything else aside…
thank you for seeing me and helping me see myself”

– HAVEN Sent(a)Mental Studios Youth Project Participants –

Lead With Your Heart Collection
The Lead With Your Heart Collection is an ongoing creative collection


This collection began at the 2nd Annual Queer Youth Summit in Denver CO.
Sent(a)Mental Studios was there providing a day long open-studio environment.
The theme was “lead with your heart” partially due to the timing being so close to
Valentines Day. I began by thinking about when I was in grade school the
goal was about collecting as many valentines as I could – definitely more
about quantity rather than quality. This led to my thoughts around how if we are
truly to lead with our hearts – perhaps we should start with our own – and so this
collection was born. The idea being to use the image of the heart as a template to
fill and show how your heart feels on the inside and to use the space outside of
the heart to show what is effecting and influencing it. Each person took it their
own way and a variety of work was created. I decided to continue this as an
ongoing project in the hopes to collect the expressions of many individual hearts
and hang them all together. To show that despite all our differences – be it class,
gender, sexuality, race, etc. – we all have hearts – we all feel love, joy, fear, pain –
and in the end it is the heart that connects us all.

Mental (St)ealth Project
The Mental (St)ealth Project is a collection of creative works by psychiatric survivors.


What We Need & What You Get

All of your donations will go towards supporting Sent(a)Mental Studios students, projects, and facilities.

$12,000 will go a long way… it will support the studio and projects for a WHOLE YEAR !!!
some of what we will get with enough donations include –
  • re-supply the basics in the studio – all kinds of art supplies, new tables, more chairs, tools, etc.
  • studio rent, maintenance, for a year
  • new studio computer and printer/scanner for students
  • re-supply the basics for the “portable” travelling studio – all kinds of art supplies, new rolling carry on suitcases
  • a variety of teas, healthy snacks, mugs and utensils for open studios
  • provide sponsorship for all the youth that are involved in programing and are unable to pay class/group fees
  • outreach materials – design and printing
  • and pay to apply and become an official 501c3

some of what you will get with your donation include –

  • hugs and high 5
  • digital images of youth art from the Lead With Your Heart Collection
  • thank you letters from students that get sponsored by your donation
  • digital images from a variety of dylan’s current photographic series
  • dylan visits your book group or community event (local)
  • dylan visits your book group or community event (continental USA)

* and if we reach our goal of $12,000 we will send a HAVEN YOUTH PROJECT T-SHIRT to EVERYONE WHO DONATED – so don’t forget to include an address so i know where to send your t-shirt


in case you are wondering – Who is dylan?

Dylan currently resides in DENVER/BOULDER CO and is a distinguished artist, author, and public speaker on many issues, including suicide prevention, depression, art, etc. Dylan has appeared on 20/20, Dateline and Today to discuss his experiences and has been featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines. Recently his award-winning book (The Last Time I Wore a Dress: A Memoir – Penguin/Putnam) was listed in the Top 10 Must Reads in Out Magazines first Transgender Issue. His work not only portrays the anguish of his earlier years but also his ultimate triumph.

Dylan is the founder/witness for Sent(a)Mental Studios and frequently opens his studio to a variety of Denver/Boulder metro youth to a provide safe space to explore and discover ways of expressing and empowering themselves without bringing harm to themselves or others. He spends much of his time teaching and working in his studio, public speaking, painting, and creating zines, such as Please Forgive Me For Judging You, Sent(a)Mental, and Freedom of Depression. Dylan currently teaches at Catalyst High School, Jefferson County Open School, and Voz y Corazon. Dylan is also the collaborator of Benjamin Ballerina – Pretty Tough Clothing for Kids along with his partner Maggie Evans.

so, what happens if we don’t reach our goal?

As I mentioned before – every little bit helps. I will be able to use any and all donations towards fulfilling the needs of the youth and the studio.

and what happens if we reach and/or exceed our goal?

Well, that would be fantastic. If we meet our goal i will send each person who donated a HAVEN YOUTH PROJECT T- SHIRT — And if we exceed the goal I will be able to provide better quality supplies as well as provide opportunities for larger project idea.

and some additional ways you can help –

Please Post and Repost links to this fundraiser – talk about it, share it, and get your friends and family involved. Helping to get the word out and make some noise about this fundraiser is one of the greatest ways to assist in making this a success and making our goal attainable.

Contact Dylan and try to arrange a showing and/or speaking engagement for Dylan or Sent(a)Mental Studios at a university, gallery, church, book, or youth group near you.

and remember you can use the Indiegogo share tools!


A bit more – for those of you who want to hear more from Dylan about the philosophy and goals of his community work.

Hello again.

I am not a stranger to the issues brought up here. Unfortunately, I have lost many people to suicide and known many people too ashamed to raise their voices as psychiatric survivors. It is with this inspiration that I officially launched Sent (a) Mental Studios and its various creative projects – with the hope to bring visibility to mental health issues and draw much needed attention to the thousands of people lost within various communities over the years due to overwhelming stigma and a lack of dialogue around these issues.

When I think about community, I think about “home” – beginning with the
institutions of my youth – for this was where I first developed my ideas and beliefs around community as well as my need for it. It has been my quest as an artist to find and create space for the exploration and development of creative expressions that are born in situations of protest and in times of reclaiming self and in the witnessing of difference in the world. I hope and strive to participate in a community where there is a level of safety that holds us all accountable in success and in failure.

Building on that idea of home, my community work has emerged and evolved to be
a kind of home in and of itself. I have run several projects out of my art studio, Sent(a)Mental Studios. I started providing open studio environments for youth in Brooklyn while pursuing my MFA in 1990 and continued this type of programing when I moved to San Francisco, Washington DC and most recently to the Denver metro area. The Haven Youth Project, one of several community projects of Sent(a)Mental Studios, has been providing open studio environments to a variety of Denver/Boulder youth, creating safe space to explore and discover ways of expressing and empowering themselves without bringing harm to themselves or others. I work to help students to explore difficult emotions and experiences through creativity; to find the power and pride inside of themselves in a safe and supportive space.

It is through these art studio and projects – that I mentor, witness, and frequently attempt to empower a variety of teens in achieving their creative and personal potential; and assist them in recognizing and valuing their creative contributions to the world around them.

I believe that I have much to offer the youth i serve. I have gathered a lot from my many years of experience navigating activist, educational, and creative communities and spaces. As a queer identified artist that has historically produced and defended the creation and showing of personal narrative artworks I have maneuvered through many challenging situations. I have been raised in many urban environments such as Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Washington DC and Denver. While I bring many ties to the community organizations and individuals that I have worked with over the years, as well as the skills I have acquired in all that I have learned from these environments and community partners – I also bring with me an openness – a belief that for community to achieve its greatest success its individuals must begin by being open to changing and defending many things; including one’s mind, practice, and beliefs. I fully embrace diversity and I am open to the exchanges that happen when I my self and my experiences within a community that is open to doing the same.

Please visit and for more information.

Thanks so much for sticking around.
love, dylan


Keep Georgia on your mind! Help her recover from ALS #Indiegogo

28 Feb


Lets make it happen

Do you believe in miracles? I need a miracle to heal and get back my life. Please help to make it happen. Keep Georgia on your mind!

I am Georgia and this is my story…

Around Sept of 2007, suddenly and after a major fall from some stairs, my left hand started to feel weird, awkward and slow in movement. Much later, the right hand followed, and later I had some difficulty in swallowing, I started walking slower and developed balance issues, my speech slurred when stressed, and I felt some stiffness in my legs. My condition was slowly deteriorating, but doctors would not give me a diagnosis. After more than 2 years of visiting a handful of doctors in Greece, Italy and Germany, there was still no diagnosis. In the USA I was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease “most probably ALS” (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) as the doctor said. When I returned to Greece and since no hope for survival was given to me in the US, I did endless research eventually leading me to Lyme disease. After numerous blood tests and contacts and visits to more doctors, I was finally diagnosed with Late Stage Chronic Lyme disease/ALS manifestation. Whatever my illness is though, it’s killing me and ultimately all that matters is what to do about it.

Antibiotics intravenously, intramuscularly, orally, supplements, vitamins, physical therapy are some of the things I’ve done and do. In August 2011, I started treatment with embryonic stem cells in India. During my first 2 month stay, some improvement was accomplished for the first time. The goal was made clear to me from the very first contact: Stabilization. I’ve visited India 2 more times, in Feb 2012 for one month and then in June 2012 for almost six months. Now our target is to totally stabilize my condition so that improvement may then slowly be possible.

Stabilization is happening. My balance though is getting a little worse. You can see my current condition in the video. I need to continue treatment. I need to stay alive until a new method, drug or treatment is made available to heal me.

Due to being unable to work for many years now, plus the enormous medical expenses, a lot of travels and the serious Greek economic crisis, my family’s cash reserves diminished steadily and are now totally depleted.

Some of you helped me in 2011 and you’ve been with me ever since. Help me again please. Help me make this miracle happen. I can win this. But only with your kind support. I need at least $20,000 to continue treatment in India, since it is the only option for now. That’s why I’ve decided to launch this campaign here. My blog gives you the possibility to contribute at any time through PayPal or by bank transfer. This will be an intensive and fixed date campaign. You can use either PayPal or just your credit card. Any amount helps. But also, your SHARE helps! Make some noise!

Inventors that failed at first

28 Feb


These inventors changed the face of the modern world, but not without a few failed prototypes along the way.

  1. Thomas Edison: In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.
  2. Orville and Wilbur Wright: These brothers battled depression and family illness before starting the bicycle shop that would lead them to experimenting with flight. After numerous attempts at creating flying machines, several years of hard work, and tons of failed prototypes, the brothers finally created a plane that could get airborne and stay there.

For Lillie’s Sake #indiegogo – #dog #causes #crowdfunding #crowdsourcing

28 Feb


For Lillie’s Sake

Lillie, a sweet mama dog, and her 6 puppies were rescued after being found chained, emaciated, and parasite infested!


****Update 12/1/12***

We thank all of you so much for your support and hope you continue to support Faithful Friends — you can read our original story on Lillie below, but we wanted to update you — 4 of Lillie’s puppies have been adopted into wonderful, loving, approved homes. 2 of them are still waiting on Forever homes! We invite you to check them out on BUT, Lillie, as great as she’s been doing with her foster home, at her latest vet appointment, the vet found a heart murmur and some other issues — for a referral and appointment at the university vet hospital, it’s going to be at least $500 to do some testing on the health of her heart! She’s come so far in such a small amount of time, we don’t want to lose out on any option to help her, the puppies and all of our other rescues currently in foster homes! Please continue to spread the word about Lillie far and wide! Thank you!

Just yesterday, Lillie got to be the star in our local Christmas Parade and she was Gorgeous and sweet as ever 🙂


Who are we?

Faithful Friends Animal Advocates, Inc. is a non-profit organization established in Neosho, MO. The organization provides rescue efforts to animals in Newton and McDonald counties, two of the nation’s leading puppy milling and puppy broker counties. Through the years we have been established, we have managed to help rehome hundreds of dogs and cats. Our efforts are endless, we work entirely off of donations, foster homes and volunteers. We are also in the process of building an Animal Adoption Center.

Lillie’s Story

An email request for help came from a Newton County Sheriff’s Department deputy. He had seen a “very skinny dog and three puppies” on a rural county road. The owner was questioned and admitted he could not take care of them. When I spoke with him on the phone, he said they’d had the dog for five years but he was working two jobs and struggling to make ends meet. “Lillie” had six puppies (not three). The man told me the deputy was concerned about the scar on Lillie’s back, but said that it was caused by getting sunburned when she was being looked after by a family member. Her chain had gotten tangled so she was out in the sun for several hours. He said she’d been given veterinary care and it was healed. I believed his story and made arrangements to meet his wife at the home the next morning to assess how we might help.

As I pulled into the drive, I saw a red boxer looking dog peek her head around the corner of some concrete blocks surrounded by a pile of debris at the far corner of the property. The owner’s wife led me first to the opposite end of the property along a line of trees where six, young, small puppies were penned. As they all clamored and cried loudly at the gate, the woman admitted they hadn’t been fed that day. Their little hip bones were protruding and their bellies swollen. As I squatted down to talk to them, I saw the biggest fleas I’d ever seen were visible running all over their little faces and bodies.

We then walked to the other end of the property where I was introduced to Lillie. I couldn’t believe that the skeleton of a dog that was standing before me was still alive, let alone wagging her tail at me from the end of a three foot chain. I felt sick. The horrific, partially healed scar on her back accentuated every vertebrae of her entire spine. She had little muscle mass but still had the strength to put her paws around my waste. I carefully asked the woman a series of questions to see if her story matched her husband’s. It didn’t………I took some pictures as I blinked back tears.

I hurried back to the office, sent out an SOS email with the photographs, booked a vet appointment and with the help of another volunteer returned to rescue Lillie and her babies.

The staff gasped, almost in unison, as we walked into the animal hospital. Lillie’s boxer mix frame weighed barely thirty pounds. My fingers disappeared in her rib bones. She was full of deadly parasites along with the same gigantic fleas that her puppies were wearing. The doctor said it was absolutely impossible that the partially healed scar on Lillie’s back could have been caused the way the former owner claimed. He surmised that something acidic had been poured on her. Lillie listened and watched us with those huge, beautiful eyes, her tail continuing to wag throughout her entire examination, enduring all the pulls and pokes, with complete submission.

Thankfully, all that her babies needed were worming, good nutrition, vaccinations and some tender, loving care. Lillie, on the other hand, will need months to recover from the abuse and neglect she has endured. We are deeply grateful to a very special couple who received our SOS email about Lillie, saw the shocking pictures and asked if they could foster her. Tonight as I write this, Lillie’s boney little frame is sleeping on a soft pillow beside their bed, instead of in between some concrete blocks hooked to a chain. She has a tummy full of premium dog food, extra vitamins and healing meds. She has not had one accident in this couple’s house, nor disturbed one thing, when left alone. She has displayed nothing but gentle kindness toward all other dogs and people. Her new foster mom and dad and their whole family adore her. The improvement she’s shown in a few short days has been amazing, confirming the diagnosis of starvation and neglect.

How does a dog experience the indescribable pain and suffering that she has endured and yet respond to us with such loving kindness and even gratitude? This time charges were filed…………..for Lillie’s sake

What We Need & What You Get

Financial support is greatly needed for the care of Lillie, her 6 puppies and the countless other animals we have rescued and in foster homes. When we rehome animals, there is an adoption application process and screening. We ensure quality veterinary care for all of our animals, vaccinations, deworming, flea/tick prevention, heartworm prevention, spay/neuter and usually microchip as well. Your financial support will go to the health and well-being of all of our animals, and we will continue to post pictures and updates.

  • Donations up to $20 will receive a personal thank you note and picture of an animal you have helped
  • Donations between $20 and $99 will receive a refrigerator magnet, personal thank you and picture of animal
  • Donations of $100 or more will receive an FFAA t-shirt, magnet and personal thank you with picture.

Other Ways You Can Help

Please consider supporting us! If you can’t help financially, please help get the word out!

Follow our story, consider being a contributor!

Business Gurus that failed at first

28 Feb

Business Gurus

These businessmen and the companies they founded are today known around the world, but as these stories show, their beginnings weren’t always smooth.

  1. Henry Ford: While Ford is today known for his innovative assembly line and American-made cars, he wasn’t an instant success. In fact, his early businesses failed and left him broke five time before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.
  2. R. H. Macy: Most people are familiar with this large department store chain, but Macy didn’t always have it easy. Macy started seven failed business before finally hitting big with his store in New York City.
  3. F. W. Woolworth: Some may not know this name today, but Woolworth was once one of the biggest names in department stores in the U.S. Before starting his own business, young Woolworth worked at a dry goods store and was not allowed to wait on customers because his boss said he lacked the sense needed to do so.
  4. Soichiro Honda: The billion-dollar business that is Honda began with a series of failures and fortunate turns of luck. Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbors, finally started his own business.
  5. Akio Morita: You may not have heard of Morita but you’ve undoubtedly heard of his company, Sony. Sony’s first product was a rice cooker that unfortunately didn’t cook rice so much as burn it, selling less than 100 units. This first setback didn’t stop Morita and his partners as they pushed forward to create a multi-billion dollar company.
  6. Bill Gates: Gates didn’t seem like a shoe-in for success after dropping out of Harvard and starting a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. While this early idea didn’t work, Gates’ later work did, creating the global empire that is Microsoft.
  7. Harland David Sanders: Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.
  8. Walt Disney: Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.

Public Figures that failed at first

27 Feb

Public Figures

From politicians to talk show hosts, these figures had a few failures before they came out on top.

  1. Winston Churchill: This Nobel Prize-winning, twice-elected Prime Minster of the United Kingdom wasn’t always as well regarded as he is today. Churchill struggled in school and failed the sixth grade. After school he faced many years of political failures, as he was defeated in every election for public office until he finally became the Prime Minister at the ripe old age of 62.
  2. Abraham Lincoln: While today he is remembered as one of the greatest leaders of our nation, Lincoln’s life wasn’t so easy. In his youth he went to war a captain and returned a private (if you’re not familiar with military ranks, just know that private is as low as it goes.) Lincoln didn’t stop failing there, however. He started numerous failed business and was defeated in numerous runs he made for public office.
  3. Oprah Winfrey: Most people know Oprah as one of the most iconic faces on TV as well as one of the richest and most successful women in the world. Oprah faced a hard road to get to that position, however, enduring a rough and often abusive childhood as well as numerous career setbacks including being fired from her job as a television reporter because she was “unfit for tv.”
  4. Harry S. Truman: This WWI vet, Senator, Vice President and eventual President eventually found success in his life, but not without a few missteps along the way. Truman started a store that sold silk shirts and other clothing–seemingly a success at first–only go bankrupt a few years later.
  5. Dick Cheney: This recent Vice President and businessman made his way to the White House but managed to flunk out of Yale University, not once, but twice. Former President George W. Bush joked with Cheney about this fact, stating, “So now we know –if you graduate from Yale, you become president. If you drop out, you get to be vice president.”

An old picture of a young Ray Bradbury

27 Feb

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