Butler Family & Friends Fund – Birds of a Feather

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JB_Birds_0009_Layer1copy5-28-800-600-80Providing Opportunities for Creative Expression

York Butler, a gifted artist and copper craftsman, was fighting a battle with cancer in 2006. His sister Jill, an artist in her own right, was grappling with a sense of uselessness, an inability to do something meaningful to support her brother. As she sat with him, she asked a simple, quiet question – “how can I be of service to my brother during his illness?”

What came was an inspiration, a command, to pick up a Sharpie pen.

“I don’t draw people, but what came were these characters with things to say,” Jill explained. “I drew as commanded and then raced to my home studio and started water-coloring these first starts. I drew every morning and water-colored late into the night. Some days the characters flew out at forty an hour. This kind of creative madness stayed at peak for four months. When I finally stopped, we counted – there were 2,483 of them.”

This creative process didn’t just produce characters; the bond York and Jill shared deepened as she created these characters with their words of hope, of inspiration, and of love. Jill and York chose to call them Birds of a Feather, because together, Jill and York were birds of a feather – siblings, artists, friends. After York’s passing in 2007, Jill realized the Birds wanted to continue to express and share in other ways. Over the years, the Birds have been the major voices in Jill’s book, Create the Space You Deserve, embellished seminar materials for major corporations, and graced consumer products available on Jill’s website.YorkButler_logo

To celebrate York and the bond created through Birds of a Feather, Jill established the Butler Family & Friends Fund at the Community Foundation. As York was a copper craftsman and artist, the Butler Family & Friends Fund will enhance creative expression of all mediums; craftsmen, artists, writers, designers, musicians, and dancers for education, performance, and unique local project opportunities.

For every JillsBirds’nWords® product, trading card or usage fee collected, a portion is set aside for the Fund. For every dollar contributed, please know that you are contributing to a greater cause in a very direct and personal way in support of those in the Creative Arts.