Photos courtesy Joe Carlos Photography

An art show and sale set for Feb. 23 will support a local nonprofit that works with abused children and their families.

The 4th annual Works of HeART Benefit at The American Spirit Works, 199 Armour Drive, will offer guests the opportunity to eat, mingle with artists, and select a piece of art from more than 100 local and international artists to raise funds for the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy (GCCA).

“By attending Works of HeART and bidding on art you’ll have fun and benefit a very important cause,” co-chair Hilary Grotewold said. She’s been involved with the fundraiser since the beginning – first as an attendee, then as a volunteer, and as co-chair this year and last.

Established in 1987, GCCA champions the needs of sexually and physically abused children through prevention, intervention, therapy and collaboration. The nonprofit works to ensure that children in Fulton and DeKalb counties receive needed services following a report of abuse at no cost to their families. To-date, the Center has served more than 16,000 children and leads the nation in comprehensive prevention training and programs.
“When I learned more about what the center does in our local Atlanta community – that really resonated with me,” Grotewold said.

Each year more than 30,000 substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect are reported in our state. In response, the center provides video recorded forensic interviews for more than 700 child abuse victims each year, conducts more than 1,300 counseling and therapy sessions, and trains thousands of adults to recognize, react, and respond to child sexual abuse.

Last year, Grotewold reached out to long-time friend and fellow midtown resident Kacie Gordon about volunteering with GCCA. Lett was impressed by the nonprofit and was surprised more people didn’t’ know about it.

“I want to spend my efforts doing something in my community and this is a really powerful way to do that,” Gordon said.

Lett agreed to co-chair with Grotewold last year and this year the duo became a trio, adding veteran volunteer Nichelle Wilson Cowan.

“Being a beacon has encouraged my friends who may have been touched by abuse to seek healing – it’s never to late to heal,” Cowan shared.

Perhaps that’s why even the artists, like George Settos who donates his canvases of celebrity icons to the event, are also advocates for the work GCCA provides for victims of abuse.

With more than 100 artists donating their creations to Works of HeART, like artist couple Victoria Jackson and Aziz Kadmiri who have supported the event since the beginning, there is sure to be something to catch your eye.

Artist Sanithna Phansavanh at work.

“No matter what your price range is – we have art for you to bid on,” Grotewold explained.
You can bid on silent auction items the week before up until the night of the event from your smartphone if you pre-register.

“In 2017, we raised almost $40,000 net. This year, we hope to raise more than $50,000 net in order to ensure that every family has the tools and resources they need to heal,” Zobida Dat, GCCA director of development, said.

These funds are critical because GCCA can see generations of those they’ve served over the past 25 years leading healthy adult lives. Child sexual abuse victims really do benefit from early intervention by trained professionals.

“Our goal is to introduce more people in Atlanta to what GCCA does,” Gordon said.
For tickets to the event, visit To pre-register for the auction, visit

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.