By Carolyn Bioarsky, CW’63
The Penn Club of Chicago Sages became immersed in Indian religious culture and paintings on Thursday evening, December 10 at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. We had an SRO (Standing Room Only) group attend an Art 140-style lecture by Penn’s W. Norman Brown Professor of South Asia Studies Michael Meister. Meister, who is in Penn’s Department of History of Art and the Director of Penn’s South Asia Center, provided an introduction to Indian Temple Art to prepare us for a tour of the newest exhibit at the Chicago Institute of Art on Krishna Indian paintings. Penn continues its reputation for its wonderful art historians.
At the conclusion of the lecture we ambled across the street to The Chicago Art Institute where Madhuvanti Ghose, the Alsdorf Associate Curator of Indian, Southeast Asian, Himalayan and Islamic Art, provided a tour of the new exhibit for us. It was a large and fascinating exhibit and Madhu was more than willing to answer questions about the Indian Hindu Sect whose paintings were on exhibit. We all learned a great deal about the young blue god Krishna who played with the gopis, stole buttermilk and raised a mountain in his hand.
Afterward 24 of us went over to the restaurant across the street where we shared impressions of the exhibit and questioned Michael and Madhu further about Krishna and the Nathwarda sect whose paintings we viewed. The food, wine and service was excellent which was to be expected as this is the restaurant owned by Alpana Singh, the former host of Chicago’s “Check Please” television series and a well known Sommelier. It was an informative evening enjoyed by all.
Penn Serves LA visited the Westside Food Bank in Santa Monica on October 24 to lend a hand. Here is the report of their day by Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16.
18,000 pounds of fresh pears, apples and peppers arrived yesterday, to everyone’s surprise, at the Westside Food Bank
. In a few days it would rot… Quakers to the rescue!
Feeling pumped following last night’s under-the-lights football win over Yale, over twenty-five members of the Penn family met at the Westside Food Bank to pitch in for another worthy and enjoyable Penn Serves LA project. The food bank distributes 4.5 million pounds of food each year to 70 local social service agencies. Half of this food is donated through collection drives by churches, synagogues, schools, the mail carriers, etc., and in addition, the Westside Food Bank purchases an average of $16,500 worth of nutritious food each week. We were shown a moving video
about the work of the Food Bank, the grateful recipients, and the importance of distributing healthy foods: more produce and protein, less sugar and fat.
We were shocked to learn that the beautiful food we gleaned and packed today would have been thrown out by farmers were it not for the Food Bank’s efforts to collect healthy produce to assist our food insecure friends in LA. They pay a small amount to have this food trucked in, and whenever it arrives they need to quickly sort it and box it so that people can “shop” at local agencies for wonderful farm fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Quakers built and filled boxes and worked in the hot sun to get the job done. As usual, we had all ages and all schools represented. The time flew by and the last box of peppers found its way into the cooler – we took care of 18,000 pounds of produce and felt good knowing a few thousand people would enjoy healthy snacks this week because of our efforts.
About Penn Serves LA
We invite the Penn community in Los Angeles (alumni, parents and kids) to join us at a future event, to help spread the word and to help us plan future activities. Join us, meet new Penn people, demonstrate what service means to your kids and friends, and help fellow Quakers make a little bit of difference in our complex city!
Upcoming Penn Serves LA events:
If you have an established nonprofit that you would like us to consider for future events or announcements, please let us know. We are looking for new nonprofits to serve in meaningful ways.
Questions? Want to join our email list? Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!
The Penn Serves LA Team
Jane Gutman, CW’73, PAR’14, PAR’16 | Denise Winner, W’83 | Christine Belgrad, W’85, PAR’15 | Leanne Huebner, W’90 | Kiera Reilly, C’93 | Aileen Level, C’99, GED’00 | Irene Park, C’05 | Jeff Weston, C’05
Penn Serves LA has many terrific projects for all ages on the calendar for the coming months.
Read about our previous events:
- September, 2015 – Penn Serves LA Reads to Kids
- July, 2015 – Penn Serves LA: Harvesting a Garden for Veterans
- June, 2015 – Penn Serves LA Spruces up a New Charter School
- June, 2015 – Penn Serves LA Has the Giving Spirit
- August, 2014 – Penn Serves LA Strikes Again: This Time with Paint!
- December, 2013 – Holidays are a Time for Giving
- November, 2013 – Sending Holiday Warmth to our Troops
- August and September, 2013 – Serving the Environment and LA Leadership Academy
- May, 2013 – One on One Outreach
- March, 2013 – Habitat for Humanity
- January, 2013 – Inner City Arts
- September, 2012 – The Midnight Mission
- June, 2012 – Turning Point Shelter
See the video about the WestSide Food Bank: