Blue Dog Relief began on September 11th, 2001, when Rodrigue created God Bless America in response to the tragic events of that day. The edition of one thousand prints sold out within weeks, raising $500,000 for the American Red Cross. This experience clarified for Rodrigue how he could sell his artwork to benefit causes important to him.
Perhaps foreshadowing GRFA, Rodrigue designed Honesty in 2003, raising $350,000 for the International Child Art Foundation. With ICAF he hosted a week long workshop for children from one hundred countries and all fifty states on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Together these children of varying languages and backgrounds created a “Pyramid of Peace,” using art as the international language.
But it was following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August 2005 that Blue Dog Relief moved to the top of Rodrigue’s priority list. With the prints We Will Rise Again, You Can’t Drown the Blues, Throw Me Something F.E.M.A., and We Are Marching Again, Rodrigue raised $1.5 million for the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the Red Cross, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the United Way, the Brees Dream Foundation (pictured) and countless smaller non-profits.
To date, George Rodrigue’s relief efforts, combined with the enthusiasm and generosity of his collectors, have raised $2.5 million towards helping our world. With the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts, Rodrigue embarks on a new mission to focus primarily on child development through the visual arts.