“MFPA” information article. Fall, 2009. Dennis A. Francesconi. NAPS [North American Precis Syndicate], HealthNewsDigest.com

Here’s a another nice article featuring Mouth and Foot Painting Artists [Member] Dennis A. Francesconi. and the MFPA…! This piece briefly discusses MFPA products, and how to get them.

Cards And Calendars With A Difference

By Mouth and Foot Painting Artists
September 8, 2009

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger used the artwork of Dennis Francesconi (seen here, center, with his wife Kristi and the Governor) on the California State Christmas Card 2008.

(NAPSI)-When it comes to sending holiday cards or choosing calendars with a difference, this could be the perfect answer.

You can get beautifully illustrated cards, calendars and gifts that not only show friends and family that you are thinking of them but that also show your good taste and consideration for others. That’s because the sale of certain professionally illustrated cards, calendars, books, gift wrap, notepaper and puzzles provides the means to financial independence for dozens of talented, disabled American artists and acts as an inspiration for many others.

The quality of their work is recognized by many, including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who used the artwork painted by one such artist, Dennis Francesconi, as the image for his government house Christmas holiday card last year.

About The Artists

Another reason to send or give these products: The Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA) organization provides a fine example of the contribution the disabled can bring to the workplace when given the opportunity.

Not a charity, the MFPA is an international, for-profit association wholly owned and run by disabled artists. Members paint with brushes held in their mouths or feet as a result of a disability sustained at birth or through an accident or illness that prohibits them from using their hands.

How To Get Them

There are two ways to buy the cards, calendars and other products. Conveniently, there’s a nationwide holiday product mailing in the second week of October, which is National Disability Awareness Month.

In addition, you can visit the Web site at www.mfpausa.com at any time.

Learn More

At that site you can not only order gifts and cards but find out more about the MFPA, the artists and their products and view some of their work.

*Many thanks to, Victor Margiotta – Director of MFPA Media Relations USA, and Jim March – Director of MFPA for North America.

**Also,– Many thanks to Michael J. McCurdy – Founder/Publisher – HealthNewsDigest.com for being the first publication to run this story. HealthNewsDigest.com reaches a potential audience of 10 million readers!

** Update, March 2010: This story was also viewable for a specific period of time online at USA Today, the New York Daily News, and The Wall Street Journal,– (as well as in print) in the New Jersey Comb, LA Times, News Google, Philly Comb, and the Miami Herald Comb, for an approximate [combined readership] of 3.96 million!

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Articles, Paraplegia News magazine, and Fresno Magazine.

Mouth and Foot Painting Artists [Member] Dennis A. Francesconi reaches an audience of  220,000 with two new articles discussing his work and the MFPA…!


Paraplegia News, is a magazine published by the Paralyzed Veterans of America [PVA]. Estimated readership of 70,000. (Paraplegia News is in all VA facilities, many libraries, medical offices, etc.)

Fresno Magazine, is published and available at numerous locations throughout the Fresno area. Estimated readership of 150,000.

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California State Christmas Card for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver. December, 2008.

Mouth and Foot Painting Artists [Member] Dennis A. Francesconi gets a special honor with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver.

Above: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dennis & Kristi Francesconi, with Jim & Pat Venturi. — Below: with First Lady Maria Shriver.

“Well, what can I say, this has been such a tremendous honor for myself and Kristi, as well as for the MFPA. I have to say that the Governor and First Lady are truly remarkable people. We had the pleasure of meeting with them and found that they were very gracious, thankful, and showed great interest in our lives. First, we had a wonderful visit with the First Lady, and a short time later we were joined by the Governor. For us, it was a crossing of paths and a special evening that we shall never forget. Thank you both so very much.”

** Also, many thanks to the staff at the Governor’s and First Lady’s office for your kindness.

*The 2008 California State Christmas card.

**The wonderful credit printed on the ‘inside left’ of card.

And a special thanks to Trish Fontana [Director of Special Projects in the office of First Lady Maria Shriver] for putting this all together…;]

Below is a look at the press generated so far.

An excerpt from The Sacramento Bee: [Published: Tuesday, Dec. 09, 2008]

“Maria and I know that in California, everyone can prosper and be celebrated for their great talents,” said Schwarzenegger. “… This year, we decided to select a fellow Californian who expresses determination through adversity to make dreams come true.”

Also, there’s a particular highlight from the tree lighting ceremony – First Lady Maria Shriver talked about the holiday card and mentioned Dennis in her speech. Included is an excerpt below.

“…And I also just want to — there’s a special individual who is here this evening, whose name is Dennis Francesconi, and he has painted the governor’s Christmas card that is sent out to so many people this holiday season, along with a gift card to  members of the National Guard who are deployed overseas. And I would just like to point him out. I don’t know where Dennis is — there’s Dennis. Dennis is in a wheelchair, he had a water-ski accident when he was 17 years of age, and he painted the most extraordinary Christmas tree on the California Christmas card. It’s of a Christmas tree, and he did it with his mouth. And it is an extraordinary portrait, and to spend any time with this man is an inspiration. (Applause)

I said to my kids, “I don’t want to hear one more yip out of you when you tell me you can’t do something,” because he learned to write with his mouth and he learned to paint with his mouth, and he now makes a living as an incredible California artist. So any of you who have the opportunity to see his work or meet him tonight, and his wife Kristi, do yourself a favor to meet an inspirational Californian. Take a minute. It’s our pleasure to have your work on the California governor’s Christmas card and for you to be here this evening, so thank you again. (Applause) …And now it’s my great privilege to introduce your governor, the People’s Governor…”

Press: December 2008,

Newspapers / Magazines:

The Sacramento Bee: [online]

*The above piece was also published on four web sites in Spain, and one in Australia.:

discapnet.es [Madrid], ecodiario.es [Madrid], solidaridaddigital.discapnet.es [Spain], imsersounifor.org [Spain], and mdaa.org [Australia]

The Fresno Bee [print and online]

The Madera Tribune [print, Front Page story]

[March 2009] Paraplegia News, a magazine published by the Paralyzed Veterans of America [PVA].

[April 2009] Fresno Magazine, feature story.

Television:

CTNS Interview – Picked up 12 times , including these stations in San Francisco, Fresno and Monterey: *We do not have an [online] clip for this piece, just the tracking.

KICU, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose – 12/9/08 at 7 p.m.
KTVU (FOX), San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose – 12/9/08 at 6 p.m.
KFSN (ABC), Fresno/Visalia – 12/9/08 at 6 p.m.
KGPE (CBS), Fresno/Visalia – 12/9/08 at 11 p.m.
KSEE (NBC), Fresno/Visalia – 12/09/08 at 6:30 p.m.
KION (CBS), Monterey/Salinas – 12/9/08 at 5 p.m.
KGPE (CBS), Fresno/Visalia – 12/10/08 at 5 a.m.
KGPE (CBS), Fresno/Visalia – 12/10/08 at 6 a.m.
KTVU (FOX), San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose – 12/10/08 at 8:30 a.m.
KSEE (NBC), Fresno/Visalia – 12/10/08 at 4:30 a.m.
KSEE (NBC), Fresno/Visalia – 12/10/08 at 6 a.m.
KSEE (NBC), Fresno/Visalia – 12/10/08 at 12 p.m.

KMPH FOX 26 Interview, Fresno/Visalia – 12/11/08 at 10 p.m.

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“MFPA” information article. Fall, 2008. Dennis A. Francesconi. “Freedom, America Remembers”. NAPS [North American Precis Syndicate], HealthNewsDigest.com

Drawing Inspiration From Disability

By Mouth and Foot Painting Artists
August 8, 2008

Dennis Francesconi seen here with his tribute painting titled “Freedom, America Remembers.”

Increasingly, individuals with a physical disability are redefining what it means to be disabled.

According to the American Disability Act (ADA), about 43 million Americans–one in seven people–are living with at least one disability, and most Americans will experience a disability at some time during the course of their lives. For some, that experience can be such that it changes the direction of their life forever.

Take for example, Californian artist Dennis Francesconi, who, as a result of a skiing accident at age 17, broke his neck and became a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic. Fortunately, he refused to see this as the end of his life.

Eventually, he began to draw by gripping a pencil between his teeth. In time, and with the support of his wife, Kristi, his skills as an artist blossomed.

Later, he was introduced to the U.S. Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPA), a for-profit organization run by disabled artists seeking financial independence, formed nearly 50 years ago.

Said Francesconi, “One of the proudest moments of my life was when I was promoted by the MFPA to be a full member artist and I was able to tell the Social Security officer that I didn’t need the monthly benefits check any more.”

Something of which he can be equally proud is his consideration and compassion for others in trouble. Recently, Francesconi spent four months creating a 6½ feet by 4 feet painting, by mouth, to show his support for the fallen and injured members of the armed forces. Titled, “Freedom, America Remembers,” he plans to donate the work to a major U.S. disability rehabilitation hospital for the military.

Francesconi’s paintings have been shown in exhibitions all over the world, but like his more than 60 fellow American artists, his main income comes from painting images that are reproduced and sold as holiday cards and calendars by the MFPA.

Each year in October, artists such as Francesconi and those from other walks of life draw attention to the valuable contribution that the physically disabled bring to society during National Disability Awareness Month.

To find out more about the MFPA, the artists and their products, go to www.mfpausa.com.

www.HealthNewsDigest.com

Many thanks to Michael J. McCurdy – Founder/Publisher – HealthNewsDigest.com, – Victor Margiotta – Director of MFPA Media Relations USA, and Jim March – Director of MFPA for North America.

Dennis A. Francesconi reaches a potential audience of 10 million readers with the help of HealthNewsDigest.com again…! Also, ** This article was placed on NAPS [North American Precis Syndicate] on Oct. 1, 2008 where it could be picked up by newspapers around the country. The results: It was published in 120 newspapers, spanning 11 states, resulting in a 3.94 million readership as of Jan. 26, 2009.

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The art of Dennis A. Francesconi - [Member Artist] Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, Worldwide. [Publishers] Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Inc., Atlanta.