Tom Jackson Stay in School Program
By Andrea Serink
Katherine Brownlee took to the podium to speak about the Tom Jackson Stay in School program. The program continues to grow with strong members in our community dedicated to doing everything possible to support and serve our First Nations children and their families. The presentation celebrated our friends at Art Talks who have been generous funders and supporters of the program. 
Art Talks is a series of inspiring events intended to heighten interest and knowledge about art in its many forms.  The series has been organized by 7 women, 3 of which were in attendance at the meeting. The goal of Art Talks is to improve the educational success of urban Aboriginal children.  The events are sponsored by Masters Gallery and all donations are matched by the Calgary Foundation for 2015 and 2016.
Representing the Masters Gallery Ryan Green was in attendance. Ryan is the co-owner/director of the gallery and specializes in the dealing of Canadian historical, post war and contemporary art. He received his MA in Art History from the University of London, England and a BA in Art History from the University of Calgary. He has taught European and Canadian art history for the University of Calgary’s Fine arts and continuing education departments. His current areas of research interest are self-portraiture and the Rocky Mountain Sketches of Lawren Harris. Ryan gave an incredible overview of Canadian artists from Tom Thomson to Emily Carr and even brought some examples for us to look at borrowed from private collections. 
Also in attendance were Mentor and Mentee, Monique Mills (who is co-mentoring with Melanie Hamilton) and their Mentee, Talia, who spoke about their experience in the Stay in School Program. Talia thanked Rotary as it has given her the opportunity to fulfill her desire to learn and be creative as well as make new friends. Talia found humour in the fact that because she was speaking to our club she was getting out of school to talk about staying in school. 
After this heartwarming presentation Mr. Tom Jackson spoke to our club. For over 40 years, Mr. Jackson who is an actor, singer, producer, and activist has crafted a compassionate stage of caring.  We were very fortunate to have Tom lend his name to our program and share his kind and inspiration words with our club. Thank you Tom!
Our speakers Tom Jackson and Ryan Green with Monica Culic and President Rob