Mary-Lynne Kenneth uses Moroccan hair oil on her clients in her job as a hairdresser every day.
But it wasn’t until she visited Morocco in November 2012 and saw women making the oil by hand that she realized how lucky she really was.
"There you see the poorest of the poor people and they are just so incredibly happy," said Kenneth. "I went to a women’s co-op where they actually produce Moroccan oil. To watch these women crack these nuts on a rock while sitting on the ground for nine hours a day, then we showed up and they jumped up and grabbed their tambourines and they just started dancing."
Kenneth’s desire to volunteer was reignited after seeing how happy the Moroccan people were despite their disadvantages.
"You come back here and we’re just riddled with our first-world problems, and I just thought, ‘what are we missing that they’re so happy and we are just so miserable?’" said Kenneth.
She wasn’t sure how she wanted to get involved in the community, but after some thought, she decided that as an artist herself, she could help emerging artists.
Kenneth has started Art City Wednesdays at Looks Hair and Body, 1800 Corydon Ave., where she works as a hairdresser.
The first Wednesday of every month, Kenneth will be giving $25 basic haircuts, with all the proceeds going to Art City, a not-for-profit community art studio providing the community with innovative and professional arts
programming free of charge.
"I said, ‘Well, why don’t I just volunteer what I normally do and then give all the money to Art City?" said Kenneth. "That way, I’m doing what I already do, which I love, and then a lot of these organizations, they have lots of volunteers, what they need is money. This way I can just contribute cash."
Kenneth decided to donate to Art City because she loves the organization, and she used to live in the West Broadway neighbourhood, where Art City is based.
"I’m trying to visualize me as a kid having those resources and asking, ‘Where would I be now as an artist?’" said Kenneth. "They are nurturing these young minds at such a young age in a nurturing and loving environment, and it’s free to absolutely everybody."
Kenneth asks that all haircuts be paid in cash. To reserve with Kenneth, call Looks Hair and Body at 204-942-3351.