A&E

Friday: Art in Action Fundraiser at Computer History Museum

Google's Dennis Hwang will be honored

"Object:Art" is the theme of a fundraising event planned for Art in Action, the Menlo Park-based non-profit organization that has provided art education to more than 350,000 children since it was founded by Judy Sleeth in 1982. The event is on Friday, March 27, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Computer History Museum, 1401 Shoreline Blvd. in Mountain View.

Dennis Hwang, Google's founding "Doodler," will receive the Art Visionary Award at the event, which will also feature a silent auction of art, art experiences and other items. Tickets, at $100 per person are available online.

Money raised at the event will be used by Art in Action to keep down the cost of providing art education in schools. According to its website, the organization will use the funds raised to update curriculum to be "more relevant to Common Core and other subjects, while introducing new artists and movements to students hungry for more art knowledge and skills."

Art in Action now annually works with more than 50,000 students, trains more than 3,000 teachers and is in close to 200 schools across the county. However, the organization, says, nearly 4 million students in the U.S. do not have access to a visual arts program.

Art Visionary Award-winner Dennis Hwang started at Google as an intern working as an assistant webmaster, but was soon asked to design the Google Doodles, the graphic reinterpretations of the company's logo that appear on the Google home page. From 2000 to 2009, he designed doodles commemorating special occasions, inventions, holidays, and pioneers in the arts, science and other fields. Mr. Hwang also helped start an international student art competition, Doodle4Google, which offers student scholarships and a showcase for winning art on the Google homepage.

Mr. Hwang now works as art director for Niantic Labs, an internal Google startup that has developed interactive video games and is working on a movie and books to accompany its latest game, "Endgame."

Art in Action says it will give the Art Visionary Award annually to a person or organization that exemplifies, supports, and promotes the important role that art and artists play in society and everyday life.

Art in Action says it is helping prepare students with critical skills for today's workplaces - creativity and visual literacy. "Art in Action builds these very skills, while igniting students' thinking and creativity by providing engaging visual arts programs through which they learn art history, appreciation, and skills," according to its website.

Event sponsors include the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Online as well as Google, Facebook, Wells Fargo and Shutterfly.

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