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Nonprofit holds art burning to raise funds for domestic violence survivors

Funds from the Holiday Art Burning and Live Auction on Sunday will go toward supporting victims and survivors of domestic violence and sex trafficking.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Once is Enough Corporation, a Toledo nonprofit, is hosting a Holiday Art Burning and Live Auction, with the Warren AME Church, on Sunday from 2-5 p.m. The organization's president, Princess Buchanon, said funds from the event will go toward supporting victims and survivors of domestic violence and sex trafficking.

But what is a Holiday Art Burning and Live Auction? It's when works of art are set to be destroyed, on the spot, unless they are rescued with a willing bid from a live auction. This Sunday's auction is set to have over 100 works of art, and bids for some of the pieces will start at $50. 

At the Art Factory in downtown Toledo, some of artist Brenda Singletary-Johnson's works are destined for flames.

"Don't burn that piece! Please don't. Don't burn that piece," Singletary-Johnson said.

She's a renowned artist with artwork in the White House, who makes about 100 pieces a month. So, burning them doesn't hurt too badly, especially when it's for a good cause, she said.

"Usually we have it at somebody's home so that we can utilize a fireplace," she said. "When I did this in Atlanta we'd have about 40 to 50 people. We could raise about $10,000 dollars in my living room."

Attendees are urged to bid on the artwork that's placed on the auction block. Or watch it turn to ash before their eyes.

"She's gonna really do it? What? She's gonna do this? Everybody is really curious more than anything," Singletary-Johnson said.

A portion of the funds from the burn will go to Once Is Enough for its Christmas Giveaway Dinner at the Warren AME Church on Dec. 17 at noon. Buchanon is hopeful the auction will raise enough money to help her clients.

"We are really trying to raise money for Once is Enough and Warren AME Church. This is very important for the community," Buchanon said. "I'm a mobile nonprofit I go to my clients, small, up close and personal."

She started her nonprofit after escaping a 10-year-long abusive relationship in 2009. Buchanon said helping others helped heal her.

"I just needed to share my story, my survivor story, to others and show them that you can get out of situations, you just have to put some effort into it," she said.

Singletary-Johnson said Buchanon's work is vital to the community.

Credit: WTOL 11

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