In Zulu, the word “lalela” means “to listen.”

From this definition, Andrea Kerzner makes an earnest plea: listen to the art of humanity.

This is the founding principle for her organization, The Lalela Project.

There are numerous efforts to help those in poverty across the globe. The Lalela Project focuses its efforts in Africa by providing art and music education. This initiative has been fostering a positive transformation of the minds and hearts of countless children. [For more information on the Lalela Project please visit,]

An auction/fundraiser was held for the Lalela Project on May 19th 2011, at 38 East 1st Street, Manhattan, NY.  On display, and up for bid were several pieces of artwork created by children involved in the Project.

In attendance:

The Lalela Project Founder and President,  Andrea Kerzner.    |     World-renowned event planner, Colin Cowie.     |     Artist, friend, and Co-Director of the Lalela Project, Michael Beneville, of Beneville Studios.     |     Photographer, Actor, Talent, Andrew Fitzsimons.     |     Donna D’Cruz of raSa Music.     |      Jennifer Rothenberg, President of Innovative Philanthropy     |     And lastly, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Malaria, Raymond Chambers. 

 A special thank you to Jayme Rubright, formerly of Innovative Philanthropy for her assistance throughout the evening. 

Trivia:  I was thankful to photograph this event through the mentorship and guidance of Michael Beneville, owner of Beneville Studios. He reached out to me,  when I was just getting into photography and gave me a chance.

I remember this being the first event I ever photographed with the D700. It was supremely unfair how clean the images were compared to the D90 I had been previously using. The jump from DX to FX (full crop body) just blew me away. I still had the nerve though to complain. I thought the physical design of D700 was too big, boxy, and bulky. It felt weird in my hand but my overriding thought was, "Shut up,man. Look at how good these images are. That's worth the hand cramp."