A New 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. 
Today Congress approved a bipartisan deal for $484 billion in new funds to add to the coronavirus stimulus package. The agreement includes more money for small-business disaster loans and $322 billion in additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program . We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

Lots of breaking news from the Employment Securities Department (ESD) this week! If you’re a gig worker you have to be denied state unemployment before you can qualify for the federal funding available to cover you. There’s a new section of the ESD website just for gig workers. AND there’s an updated eligibility check list about who qualifies. Check out our Unemployment for Gig Workers info sheet for more details.

We partnered with OneRedmond on a recent webinar called "Helping Independent Contractors & Gig Workers Navigate the Programs Available Under the CARES Act." If you missed it, you can watch it on-demand here

Washington Filmworks  and  Whipsmart  are partnering with Artist Trust on a webinar to discuss renter’s rights and rent and mortgage relief. 
Do you have questions about this topic? If so, email them to us at  Info@WashingtonFilmworks.org .  
Bellingham City Council Member Hollie Huthman Rocks Lockdown
City Council Member and Bassist Hollie Huthman. Photo: Tommy Calderon
Hollie Huthman has an impressive resume: she’s the bassist for the band Dryland , and co-owner of The Shakedown in Bellingham, WA. As if that weren’t enough, she’s also a Bellingham City Council member.
We asked Hollie how small venues can make it through the pandemic, what it’s like to put an album out during a lockdown, and why more creatives should get involved in politics.

We also asked Hollie to curate a playlist for the creative community that will make you want to get up off the couch and dance. So grab your dancing slippers and check out her Spotify playlist!
As you know, the pandemic is hitting venues hard. What is your best advice right now to venue managers and owners across the state?   

The best place to start is to reach out to other venue owners and managers and learn from each other. There are two venue associations that I've become a part of—the Washington Nightlife and Music Association and the National Independent Venue Association . They're both advocating for the unique challenges that venues face and are working on building some lobbying power. 
But also, just being able to discuss how we're each personally navigating this situation has been so helpful. On the bright side, I think this was something that would have been wonderful before the crisis, too, and I hope this type of communication and collaboration doesn't end after we all open back up.
Your band just released a new album, Dances with Waves , this week! What’s your favorite song on the album and why? And how has the pandemic affected the way you are going to release and promote?
It sounds like such a cop-out, but I really do love all of the songs for different reasons. There's something that gets me excited in all of them, from a guitar riff, to a drum part, a catchy line of lyrics, or something I just have a good time playing. 
As far as releasing the album, I think the biggest bummer is that we would be playing an album release show right now and probably even doing a small tour, and of course who knows when we can play to a crowd again. Otherwise, I think there's a benefit to having somewhat of a captive audience at the moment. There isn't a lot of new music being released so people are really excited about new stuff.
It’s not often that you see literal rock stars participating in politics. What motivated you to run for City Council? And why do you think it’s important for creative types to participate in politics?

Many things motivated me to run, but certainly a lack of people like me in politics was one of them. There's absolutely no reason a majority of our politicians should be old, rich, white men with backgrounds in law or the corporate world. Every kind of person should be represented. I wanted to see more young women who cared about people, the arts, and small business represented, and I thought I might have a shot at getting some votes. 
I think it's important for creative types to be involved with politics because I think the creative world is something we say we highly value as a society, but we don't always back that value up with our decisions, particularly financial ones. All throughout history and in all societies throughout the world, art, music, theater, literature, and film are things we look back on with a sense of pride and accomplishment, yet we don't prioritize them in this country. And heck, a little bit of funding can go a long way in the creative economy! It's important to have political leaders that understand this if we want our arts culture to thrive.

Support Whidbey Creatives by Shopping Online
Time to send a self-care package to your pals! Altogether Langley has launched Virtual Village , an online platform for local creatives to sell their work during the stay at home order. Support creatives from Whidbey and Camano Islands by shopping online for artisanal food and wine, jewelry, art, and gifts!
Singing Through the COVID Crisis Raises Spirits
Music makes the world go round and during the lockdown musicians across Washington State are using their talent to entertain friends and neighbors. Here’s a few of our favorite stories featuring local opera singers:
Ballard’s Opera Man lets loose from his lawn every weekday.
Spokane family has opera singers serenade grandma on St. Patrick's Day during social distancing ( Note: This news story pre-dates the mandatory stay at home order.)

And if you’re looking for a little background music when cooking or doing puzzles at home, Andrea Bocelli has given the world this gift. Enjoy!
Andrea Bocelli: Music For Hope - Live From Duomo di Milano
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.