Art for the Heart of Africa is our annual benefit auction supporting orphaned South Sudanese children. Art for the Heart of Africa is an evening devoted to honoring God's gift of artistry with music, food and auction. This semi-formal event will feature artwork from local and regional artists, as well as art from the children of the Dreamland children's orphanage. Every dollar raised will help feed, educate and love these children, who after being orphaned by war, poverty and famine were forced to flee and set up home in a refugee camp in northern Uganda as the violent civil war in South Sudan threatened their lives.


Art for the Heart of Africa has raised almost $400,000 in the past 9 years. These funds were used to provide running water and solar electricity, buy a dump truck, build and supply a children’s medical clinic, build a kitchen, dining hall, dormitories, and a school, as well as starting two farms and pay for the children's education. In the fall of 2016, due to civil war in South Sudan, the children made a new life in a refugee camp in Uganda. With recent funds from Art for the Heart of Africa, we were able to provide these basic necessities yet again. 

Art for the Heart of Africa will be held at The Vineyard Church at 16219 Jackson Road, Mishawaka, near the US 20 bypass (directions). For more information about this event or to make a gift-in-kind donation or a financial gift to help underwrite the cost of the event, please e-mail Kathy Smarrella.

Why we're doing this:
The Vineyard Church started working in Yei, South Sudan the fall of 2008 with Pastor Stanley Lonathan. Pastor Stanley has planted three churches, started two schools and the New Generation Dreamland Children’s Home for orphaned children. This art benefit is a practical way to not just raise awareness of the incredible challenges that are facing those in East Africa, but also to make a very significant difference in the lives of specific individuals. Our participation can make a difference with the 130+ orphaned children of New Generation Dreamland who have specific names, dreams, and abilities. Instead of just barely making it, they can experience education, physical health, love and acceptance. Art is a God-given gift that stirs the hearts of people and our hope is that this art benefit will not only change the lives of the Dreamland children but will grip our hearts and change us as well.

How we're doing this:
Were it not for the generosity of our amazing sponsors and donors, Art for the Heart of Africa would not be possible. Their sponsorship funds and in-kind donations cover the cost of expenses related to hosting the benefit and making it possible for 100% of the money coming in on the night of the benefit to go directly to the Dreamland children in Uganda. We encourage you to thank them personally by supporting these organizations when possible.


If you would like to submit a piece for Art for the Heart of Africa, please e-mail Kathy Smarrella at .

Art for the Heart of Africa is a semi-formal event.  So, gentleman pull out your ties and maybe a jacket. Women, show off that dress you've been wanting to wear to something special.  Parents, although we love your kids too, this is an adult-only event.

Upon arrival at the event, be prepared to provide your information to get a bidder number. This number will allow you to bid on the Silent Auction and Live Auction items.

During Art for the Heart of Africa, enjoy complimentary beverage and hors-d'oeuvres while listening to live music by local musicians.

A large portion of the art at the benefit can be purchased during the Silent Auction.  This will include much of the individual children's art projects created by children at New Generations Dreamland.

So how do you win?

  • You will write your bidder number, along with your bid amount at the numbered sheet near your auction item.
  • Bid high and bid often.
  • The auction will close in sections. As sections are closing, make sure you are the highest bidder on items in that section that you wish to take home with you.
  • If you are bidding on a budget, there may be items without bids. Sometimes, a minimum bid will win an item.

Featured art pieces will be available through a live auction. This will include larger art pieces, along with a few surprises. How does this work?

  • Peruse the items throughout the evening leading up to live auction at 8PM.
  • Items will be individually showcased and auctioned by a professional auctioneer.
  • Raise your bidder number high and often to win items you are interested in.
  • Whether bidding or not, you should stick around for the excitement of the live action to get an idea of how much the Dreamland Orphanage can be affected by one evening.


Here are some samples of the art that will be at Art for the Heart 2018. 



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