March 20, 2018
In March, long-time Short North Arts District street artist Malcolm Jones was injured while coming to the aid of a Short North Arts District employee. Currently, Jones is undergoing physical and occupational therapy at The Laurels of Northwood in Worthington. His injury has caused his vision to be severely impaired, and may decline further.
While this was a tragedy, we can have solace in knowing that Jones’s compassion for others in the Short North Arts District helped protect another person. As a community that values helping members in need, Jones’s friends and neighborhoods in the Short North Arts District have planned a fundraising event called ART, MUSIC, LOVE to help with his medical and post-operation expenses.
For a suggested donation of $10.00, attendees of ART, MUSIC, LOVE will be able to enjoy nibbles catered by local restaurants including Cameron Mitchell, Short North Tavern, Barrel on High, and more; live music from Dave Weibel’s wild banjo and KaTanya Ingram’s powerful voice; and the spectacle that is drag performer KarKar O’Daniels. Guests may also bid on Jones’s art in an auction.
All proceeds will go to the Malcolm J Recovery Fund, the GoFundMe set up by Jones’s friend and patron Laura Cotton. She had initially set the goal of $1,000 to help with medical and post-op costs, but that was exceeded in just two hours. Now, after hundreds of donations ranging from just $5.00 to $200.00, the GoFundMe sits at $12,000.00. “[Everyone’s] concern has been overwhelming to me and him,” said Cotton.
ART, MUSIC, LOVE was made possible by the team effort between Cotton and the Executive Director of At Home By High, Katie Beaumont. At Home By High is a nonprofit organization focused on assisting adults aged 50 plus within the District and surrounding neighborhoods. Beaumont has primarily been functioning as an advocate and support person for Jones’s physical care, such as with his rehabilitation at The Laurels of Northwood. She’s currently working to find a living arrangement for Jones after his release from physical therapy.
“This incident really brings to light how one tragedy can change the stability of day-to-day life for older adults,” Beaumont said. “Malcolm … is such a beloved artist and neighbor in the community and has many people assisting him right now. Despite all of this help, it’s still difficult to get Malcolm what he needs due to limited housing options for assisted living, [and there are] even fewer options for people unable to afford the private-pay rate most assisted living facilities require for admission.”
“My hope is that people will look at other individuals in their neighborhood and reach out when they are in need – neighbors helping neighbors,” she said.