“Art in Service of Humanity”
A Day Remembered: At 8:46 a.m. on September 11th, 2001, Keith De Cesare was literally shaken out of bed in lower Manhattan by the thunderous sound of American Airlines flight 11 only a few hundred feet above his apartment just seconds before it crashed into the the World Trade Center. He witnessed the tragedy from his rooftop apartment in the West Village, on TV, and on the streets below. On that day he made a commitment to dedicate his life to helping those directly effected by that tragedy. His mission become to heal the grief stricken, to lift spirits and to volunteer his time and creative service as an artist to this personal calling.
A Remarkable Community: Along the way he encountered exceptional people and became part of a remarkable community of volunteers, rescue and recovery workers at Ground Zero. He became close to survivors and those who had lost loved ones on September 11th. He met presidents, governors, and other leaders of the free world. He has served on committees, attend special events and services. More importantly, he was blessed with an historic opportunity to dedicate his life and talent as an artist for humanitarian purposes.
A Special Mission
Following this path, in a donation of personal time and resources, Keith installed and distributed healing works where they would do the most good. In the beginning, he gave the Firefighters Angel to 1st Responders at Ground Zero, and eventually to every firefighter of the FDNY, which inspired a series of Guardian Angel tributes, one for each of the various agencies and departments effected by loss that day, NYPD, PAPD, EMS, etc. These works provided a needed uplift and inspiration when they were most needed, and they continue to be cherished and requested to this day. In addition, he produced the first Ground Zero Memorials on the viewing platforms at the World Trade Center site, initially for family member to be comforted in the knowledge that their loved ones would not be forgotten, and also to remind visitors to the site that they were viewing a sacred place where thousands perished, and not a tourist attraction. Over the past 10 years, this artist has been personally responsible for paying the expenses out of pocket to preserve all the artifacts associated with this installation of primary significance. The World Trade Center Memorial Foundation has announced the intention to acquire this first Ground Zero Memorial to place on view in the future Museum at Ground Zero, however, that may be years away and your support is seriously needed now to help preserve these materials.
ArtAID first sponsored the creation and distribution of the FDNY Angel Memorials in heartfelt tribute to all firefighters, especially those who responded to the World Trade Center on September 11, and to console all the families and friends of those who never returned. A special charitable effort born of this tragedy, as symbolized in the widespread display in firehouses and public spaces, parks and squares all around New York City, it shows how good things can come out of something bad.
ArtAID sponsors humanitarian services and charities by enabling you and contributing artists to play a role in healing a wounded world. ArtAID is working with attorneys to be able to continue its philanthropic projects such as the Firehouse Banner Project.
Commission fees normally collected by private galleries directly support our humanitarian efforts and eliminate inflated prices of the art market. The ArtAID website empowers a world audience to contribute to the greater good by helping fund causes that need your support. We will also provide a means to obtain artworks of inspiring beauty with collectible value.