May 7, 2020
A Creative Community Newsletter for Information and Inspiration
Each week we will send news you need to know about the COVID crisis that will help put us on the road to recovery. We will also give you a glimpse of how our creative colleagues from across the state are using their talent to bring us all closer together! Read on for more.
Who better to guide you through the maze of unemployment then someone who's been there? Actor/filmmakers Melinda Raebyne and Alder Sherwood made this fantastic informational video on how to apply for unemployment.

And if you need to get back to basics, we've got a new one shee t called Unemployment 101 with a glossary of terms to help you navigate the system.

If you missed the renter’s rights webinar that we co-hosted with Artist Trust, it's here .

In case you want to see all this great info in one place, we've made a brand new page on our website with these COVID-19 resources and more! The page will be updated as new information becomes available.

Find out how 10 artists are staying creative through COVID-19.

Unusual art studio alert—the City of Seattle is seeking a graphic artist to use Fremont and University Bridge as an art studio. Seattle artists, or artists living within 100 miles of Seattle, are eligible to apply and the deadline is May 28. 

In response to boarded-up businesses in Tacoma, Spaceworks Tacoma has partnered with local organizations to commission work for a rapid mural response program.

Three organizations focusing on visual media have come together to launch an open call for artworks that can fight against a rising tide of misinformation related to the coronavirus pandemic.  
Miguel Gonzalez Finds Strength in His Gente
Photographer and graphic artist Miguel Gonzales
Miguel Gonzalez is a photographer and graphic artist born in San Antonio, TX and now living in Spokane. He explores Mexican American biculturalism through combining photography and illustration, and also curates —the only online marketplace in Eastern Washington for Latinx arts & culture. 

In addition to helping build a creative Latinx community, Gonzales is producing and showing his own works. He recently teamed up with Jeni Hegsted at Coeur d'Alene’s Emerge Gallery to create Nuestro Esperanza, Nuestro Futura , a show that explored the hopes and dreams of Latinx artists in the Pacific Northwest.

In response to COVID-19 and the limited social gathering opportunities for artists, LTNX artes is opening their online marketplace as a commission-free space to any artist— email for more information.

Miguel answered some questions from us about his own artistic journey and growing the Latinx community in the Pacific Northwest with LTNX artes . And as a special bonus, Miguel also gave us some of his amazing prints you can download and use as Zoom backgrounds. Find them here !
What inspired you to start LTNX artes? 

Being a part of Chicano arts spaces in San Antonio, TX in the early nineties, like the Gallista Gallery , allowed me to develop my style of art, come closer to the Chicano community, and collaborate across the state with other Chicanos by common life experiences. 

With, I wanted to create a space for Latino/a/x creatives to develop their cultural expression, and have a safe space to share what they feel about their Latinidad from the Pacific Northwest. Culture for a Latinx person can be very complicated having a wide diversity among our own community. Being a Mexican, Colombian, Puerto Rican, Peruvian, Guatemalan, Honduran, etc. is not all the same! We each have our own Spanish dialects, Indigenous languages, textiles, foods, religious interpretations, and colonized complexities.

Spokane is not ready to accept an openly expressive Latinx culture publicly just yet. Spokane has yet to see and understand the diversity in the community of color that has been hidden in its history. 

Moving to the northern border was a culture shock. It took me almost a year to find my gente. I connected with the Hispanic Business Professionals Association (HPBA). There I met other Latinx people from all over the world! Spokane has a diverse Latinx community. More so than San Antonio and central Texas. I like the different dialects and various foods I can experience with the community here.

Having an online marketplace like empowers us to connect and collaborate while not being limited to one city's limits. Our culture is a migratory one, and the internet allows us to migrate across borders seamlessly growing and evolving into the next generation of Latinidad.
How does your cultural background influence your creative practice? 

I don’t include a culture to my art because everything I am is a reflection of what I am. I am a brown man with a non-white image of myself. I am not Mexican-American, but Mexican and American. My art is the visual expression of being bicultural.

I draw the bicultural person as a simplified illustration, not perfectly real, because as a people go we are incomplete. Regardless if we are first, second or even fifth generation. Both photography and illustration aren’t mixed media. No, they can both stand apart from each other. I create a single piece from two separate mediums to symbolize how I am one person of two separate cultures.

Done cabe dos, caben tres by Miguel Gonzalez
What three qualities do you need to be a successful visual artist? 

My success as a visual artist comes from the animo I feel from my family, and my gente. I feel the success of an artist is not measured by the sales, how many shows, how grand an installation is, how large a piece is, or even if they make a living as an artist. It’s how they shape a creative community. I feel a successful artist is the person that communicates their vision in a manner that cultivates a more connected community. This creative energy, or animo, is what drives me to create the bicultural world I live everyday.

Has being on lockdown changed your creative process at all? 
I have access to connect with other Latinx creatives across the world in an online space like Zoom. Which is not much different than having a conversation in Spanish while existing in a white space! Many artists of color can thrive in isolation because we are used to the social isolation in a white-dominated space.

During this COVID-19 lockdown, I have not experienced any change from social connection with creatives in Texas, Washington, Mexico, New York, or California. On Dia de los Niños, April 30th, I co-hosted a platica . A "talk" on being bicultural in today’s America. We discussed common issues, hopes for self identity, and food. Lots of talk about food! People of color connecting within our own isolated online space. For us isolation, creating alone, and conversing in a closed space is not a challenge—this is our strength. 
Walla Walla Movie Crush Presents:
I Think We're Alone Now
On a regular basis we'll be inviting creatives to curate content for the creative community to enjoy during the pandemic, starting with lo cal storyteller, producer, and programmer Warren Etheredge . He's the co-founder and curator for Walla Walla Movie Crush , artistic director for the Lake Arrowhead Film Festival , and shorts programmer for The Seattle Jewish Film Festival .

Every week he'll bring us a selection of PG-13 rated PNW-focused short films, in less than thirty minutes, all from the comfort of home! Watch here and below for this week's installment.
"Even if surrounded by others, it is easy to feel isolated, insecure, misunderstood. A trucker, a dancer, an IT guy, and an assortment of the quarantined, the cloistered, the depressed and the hopeful try to make peace with the solitude of their individual lives, whether amidst the masses or simply home alone."
Art Walla First Aid Kits to the Rescue
First Aid Kit design by A ugusta Sparks Farnum
Providence St. Mary Medical Center has partnered community businesses, and local artists to fund Arts in Health: First Aid Arts Kit in response to the COVID -19 pandemic.

The First Aid Art Kits are being distributed to patients in home isolation, community shelters, and to the hospital for both patients and caregivers. The First Aid Art Kits are accompanied by a card to say hello, public COVID-19 messaging, and a newsletter filled with artist designed writing prompts, creative process projects, and art projects that can be built upon, like coloring pages.

Check them out here !
Mural Art Is Making Cities Brighter
"Wish You Were Here" by Leo Shallat and Vk. Photo Credit: Mike Hipple
Boarded up shops have proven to be a canvas for graffiti artists around the world to showcase their work and give messages of hope in the communities where they live and work. The result? Some not-to-be missed art! Here are some of our favorites:

In response to C oronavirus, graffiti artists across the world make street art.

The city of Vancouver, WA is paying artists to do informative murals on the east side of downtown because many people in that area do not have internet access. 

Seattle artists create murals on shuttered stores. Check it out here .

Washington Filmworks (WF) is the private 501(c)(6) non-profit organization that manages the Motion Picture Competitiveness program as well as a diversity of resources for the creative industries in Washington State. WF's mission is to create economic development opportunities by building and enhancing the competitiveness, profile and sustainability of Washington State’s film industry.
At Whipsmart, we are unapologetic advocates for creative people and businesses. We give creative professionals the tools they need to succeed, by meeting them where they’re at—offering intentionally curated mentorships, job opportunities, and business resources scaled to every stage of their career.