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An avid philanthropist, Albert Scaglione supports NOVACO, Inc., an organization that works to help people without homes and those that have experienced abuse. Aiming to encourage healthier, self-sufficient, and secure individuals, NOVACO offers counseling, childcare and mentoring, as well as substantial assistance with financial management, housing, and education. Located in Fairfax, Virginia, NOVACO operates with the help of numerous volunteers, supporters, and generous donations. NOVACO also puts on events throughout the year to raise funds for its cause. Past events have included rummage sales, training seminars, and festivals. In the upcoming year, NOVACO looks forward to hosting Victory over Violence: A World of Difference Gala, as well as a number of auction events and benefits.

The Good Neighbor program also represents an integral part of NOVACO’s efforts. Assisting single-family households that have overcome abuse, the Good Neighbor program offers donations, tutoring, and counseling to those in need. These individuals benefit from help that can easily be found throughout the local community.

Additionally, the Virginia Individual Development Account (VIDA) program aims to help low-income families build savings through a 2:1 matching program with NOVACO. Teaching individuals about controlling expenses and saving for goals remains a key educational aspect of the program, allowing individuals to become self-sufficient and financially secure. According to one successful program graduate, “I got the confidence I needed and the financial freedom I was looking for. This program gave me a sense that homeownership is possible!”

Major sponsors of NOVACO include Exxon Mobil Corporation, Allstate Insurance Company, Fannie Mae, Giving Circle of HOPE, and the Rotary Club of Vienna, Inc.

Tips for Visiting Art Galleries with Children, Part 1

Many kids might perceive art galleries to be dry, stuffy places, but a rewarding learning experience can be found for those parents who know how to reveal it.

1. Pre-visit Preparation Children might find artwork more interesting if they are prepared to receive it prior to arriving at a gallery. Search online for an art gallery you would like to visit, then research that exhibit hall to find out about the works they have on display. Then, rent books and videos about the artists and their works to read and view with your children.

2. Look, Do Not Touch Children are naturally inclined to touch things that interest them. Sit down with your child before visiting an art gallery, and explain that art is meant to be seen, not touched. You should also talk to them about other museum and gallery faux pas, such as running, shouting, and horseplay.

3. Safe Play Areas Children, especially small ones, will have a tough time keeping their bountiful supply of energy bottled up for their entire visit. While conducting your pre-visit research, look up nearby parks and playgrounds to stop by after the gallery, or as a means of breaking up the gallery visit. Some museums have playrooms on-site.

4. Ask and Receive Questions Children are naturally curious, and should be encouraged to ask questions. Stock up on gallery pamphlets and booklets to consult when your child inundates you with inquiries. Likewise, you can ignite a child’s curiosity by asking them questions.

By Albert Scaglione


Tips for Visiting Art Galleries with Children, Part 2

By Albert Scaglione

Our advice for helping children get the most out of their visit to an art gallery concludes with several additional pointers.

5. View Installation Art Installation art consists of three-dimensional pieces that alter one’s perception of a space. Children tend to enjoy installation art, as it is often more inviting and interesting to them than endless walls of paintings and sculptures. Some installation art is interactive, making it even more appealing to younger viewers. Check to see if your local art gallery collects installation art, and make sure your children get to see it before the end of your visit.

6. Utilize Facilities These days, most art galleries have specific galleries and activities to keep children entertained and interested in art. Try to coordinate your visit with any events your chosen gallery has planned.

7. Attend Child-Oriented Guided Tours To extend the previous tip, many galleries offer guided tours for children and their parents. Such tours are often hosted by tour guides, who engage children’s sense of humor and curiosity by telling them the stories behind the works of art. In addition to guides, some museums have audio tours created specifically for children.

8. Limit Your Visit As much as children enjoy learning, they can only take so much walking around before they become tired and irritable. Remember to map out your visit so you can see a gallery’s highlights in a somewhat short timeframe. Aim for your visit to last three to four hours, and then head home.

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Albert Scaglione | BigSight

Park West Foundation and the American Liver Foundation (ALF)

By: Albert Scaglione

My wife Mitsie and I founded the not-for-profit Park West Foundation in 2006, as a way of giving back to the community and assisting those who are less fortunate. In particular, our foundation focuses on young women in foster care who need job training, housing, education, and child care, once they leave the state-financed support system. The Park West Foundation also supports worthy causes such as the Cornerstone Schools in Detroit, Michigan, and the American Liver Foundation (ALF).

Founded in 1976 as an outgrowth of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD), ALF is dedicated to improving the lives of those afflicted by all forms of liver disease. Researching cures is an integral part of ALF’s mission, and it partners with AASLD as the largest combined provider of liver research grants after the U.S. Government. Since 1979, Research Awards Program has administered some $23 million in grants, funding critical research undertaken by more than 750 physicians dedicated to pursuing careers in liver science. The 2010 grants, totaling nearly $1 million, supported advanced research into hepatitis C, acute liver failure, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver cancer, and many other serious conditions.

ALF seeks to raise liver disease awareness, providing free liver disease screenings for at-risk populations, vaccinations, and educational seminars. ALF even operates a toll-free help line at 1-800-GO-LIVER. Advocacy is another important aspect of ALF’s mission, and the organization is often called to testify before the U.S. Congress and state legislatures on issues related to liver disease. In particular, ALF advocates legislation to support increased organ donations. ALF also supports increased needle-exchange programs to decrease the transmission of HIV and hepatitis.

I recommend visiting the American Liver Foundation website at, and learning how you can contribute. There are also details about requesting a Uniform Donor Card and becoming an organ donor after you have passed on. Another way to contribute is through support of the Park West Foundation, on the Web at

Pablo Picasso’s Suite Vollard

By: Albert Scaglione

I began collecting Picasso works in the 1960s, and in the 1970s I was lucky enough to spend time with Parisian art dealer Henri Petiet, who purchased Picasso’s Suite Vollard and paid the artist to sign his significant pieces over time. As I learned more about the artist’s unique relationship with Petiet, I began to develop a passion for Picasso’s art. The time I spent with Petiet also launched my fascination for Picasso’s most notable graphic achievement, The Suite Vollard.

The Suite Vollard originated in 1933 when Picasso asked French art dealer Ambroise Vollard if he could purchase two paintings from his private collection. Instead of selling the works to Picasso, however, Vollard suggested a trade: 100 copperplates that included three portraits of Vollard in exchange for a Renoir and a Cezanne. Picasso chose significant works that he felt Vollard would enjoy to create the copperplate collection. Suite Vollard is unique in that it demonstrates Picasso’s exploration of classical mythology and features creatures such as the Minotaur, with whom Picasso deeply identified as an artist.

Other themes featured in Suite Vollard include the battle of love, the artist and etching master, Rembrandt, the sculptor’s studio, and the aforementioned portraits of Vollard. There are only 313 examples of each work of Suite Vollard in existence, and Musee Picasso owns the canceled copperplates. Hand-signed Suite Vollard prints remain rare and highly sought-after. Vollard and Picasso’s agreement did not include signatures on the prints. They were signed later as in the example of Petiet.

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