The Madison-Rafah Sister City Project

Java Cat Coffee to host Humanitarian Aid for Gaza Silent Art Auction

By Omar Waheed, Madison365, Jun 27, 2024  

Artwork from Java Cat Coffee’s Humanitarian Aid for Gaza Silent Art Auction (Photo by Omar Waheed)

Java Cat Coffee’s Humanitarian Aid for Gaza Silent Art Auction will go live on Friday as the Madison-Rafah Sister City Project (MRSCP) partners with artists for humanitarian aid in Gaza.

MRSCP’s auction “Art For Humanity’s Sake: A Silent Art Auction for Gaza” will start on June 28 and go until July 8. The auction features 66 donated works from artists around the country with the intention of raising funds for humanitarian aid. The goal amount for the fundraising auction is $6,000 with the proceeds going to Middle East Children’s Alliance.

“What is needed right now is a huge worldwide aid response to the situation in Gaza. And I hope, personally, that that will happen,” Cassandra Dixon, a member of MRSCP, told Madison365. “I hope that my country will be a part of that at some point. But in the meantime, I think that it falls to just regular people to try to make that happen.”

Madison-Rafah Sister City Project was founded in 2003 seeking to build person-to-person relationships with Rafah, Palestine. It aims to increase awareness of ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflicts and influence United States public policy. While it is not an official sister city recognized by Madison, it has been working to spread awareness on protests, policy, news and aid efforts.

Palestinians receiving aid in Gaza have seen ongoing difficulties as Israel’s government has prevented deliveries from arriving. Aid via Rafah, on the border between Palestine and Egypt, has been building up due to continued military operations, the Washington Post reported.

The art auction comes after garnering interest from a previous silent auction. Auctioning off art comes with the hope of bringing some tangibility to a “situation so unimaginable,” Dixon said.

Artwork on display at Java Cat Coffee (below)

“None of us really can imagine 2 million people facing starvation. We can’t imagine the devastation of all housing, all infrastructure, all education. It’s so hard to take that in, and yet we have to in order to respond,” Dixon said. “Art also requires imagination, and it requires putting yourself into a creation to appreciate it. It requires the person who created the art and the person who’s experiencing it, to have a partnership in a way.”

Aid will go towards providing fresh produce like rice, shampoo, soap, sanitary pads, laundry detergent, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, along with helping prepare hot meals, clothing, blankets, clean water, and beginning installation of solar-powered water desalination and purification units.

Bidding on artwork is open June 28 through July 8. An in-person showing of auctioned goods will be held at Java Cat Coffee Shop, 4221 Lien Rd., on Tuesday, July 2, 5:30-7 p.m.





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