Advocacy Through Art

Artist and Estee Lauder executive Donald Robertson and his family only moved to the Park Cities from California in January, but he’s already using his talents to help the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center (DCAC).

Robertson said shortly after his children started school at Armstrong Elementary School, he was invited to breakfast where he met Dr. Philip Ewing, a fellow Armstrong parent, who serves on the board of directors of DCAC.

DCAC is an agency that works with public and private agencies to investigate, prosecute, and provide healing from child abuse cases in Dallas County. The breakfast conversation turned to the topic of DCAC’s Art for Advocacy fundraiser.

“We met at school through our kids and then at breakfast we were talking about the art ball (Art for Advocacy) that the Dallas CAC usually throws and how they were having a hard time because of COVID,” Robertson said. “It was sort of a series of accidental introductions, and so here we are.”

So Robertson turned to his 221,000 (as of this posting) Instagram followers to share photos of and auction off a pair of colorful paintings of horses he’d done with proceeds benefiting DCAC.

Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center Chief Development Officer Murphey Sears said Robertson’s pieces combined raised nearly $15,000.

“It’s huge for DCAC,” Sears said. “That significant donation will go to a myriad of different things, not only to provide the expert level trauma healing services, but also the investigative piece… We are the frontline responders to children who are victims of child abuse, so that $15,000 is going to go a really long way to provide healing and justice for a child.”

Like many local nonprofits, the pandemic has curtailed DCAC’s fundraising efforts, which usually includes a luncheon, a clay shoot, and the art auction.

“We’ve had to cancel our luncheon the past two years, so that leaves us this year with an immediate $300,000 deficit, and so we are truly relying on our community members to join with us, to step up to the plate to say this mission is important,” Sears said.

Robertson said he isn’t finished supporting DCAC. 

He learned about Dallas leather goods and gift shop Barrington Gifts on Instagram and is partnering with them to make a bag printed with his longhorn design. Sears said DCAC hopes to be able to offer one of the bags in a raffle soon.

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, former deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order.

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