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. 
Did you miss the Unemployment for Artists and Creatives During COVID-19 webinar, that we co-hosted with Artist Trust last week? Never fear, it was recorded! Check it out here

The Employment Securities Department has new information about applying for unemployment if you are a gig worker. Check out our updated info sheet that helps gig workers get the information they need to apply.

In other breaking news, it was announced this morning that the federally funded small business relief programs are out of money. There are two business relief programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan , that provided monetary funds to assist small businesses, nonprofits, sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Congress is considering additional funding for these programs.

If you missed out on round one of funding and would like to apply in the future, write your members of Congress now and ask them to allocate additional dollars for these programs. Don’t know who represents you in Washington, DC? Here’s a link to find your Congressional Representatives . When you arrive at the website make sure that you click the Congressional button at the top.

Looking for some no nonsense advice? Seattle creative business owner Michael Huang shares his Quarantine Ritual that helps him stay intentional with his time and energy during the lock down.

Washington Filmworks and Whipsmart are partnering with Artist Trust on another 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 .
Comedian Emmett Montgomery Keeps Seattle Laughing
Comedian Emmett Montgomery (right) and Donna.
When he's not touring the country doing stand-up, Seattle-based comedian Emmett Montgomery produces local shows that focus on building community and pushing the limits of what it means to be a performer. Emmett was part of the top 100 in NBC’s Last Comic Standing Season 9 (2015), was voted Seattle Weekly ’s Best Comic of 2015 and named one of City Arts Magazine Artists of 2015. 

Emmett has risen to the occasion during the COVID-19 pandemic by shifting his weekly comedy nights like The Magic Hat (Mondays at 7pm), The Joketellers Union (Wednesdays at 8pm) and Weird and Awesome with Emmett Montgomery (the first Sunday of every month) to an online platform. He's helping to keep the comedy community healthy during the crisis by providing an opportunity for fans to support the local comics they love by donating through Venmo while they watch sets from home.

We caught up with Emmett recently to find out what makes him laugh in this time of crazy. Read on for a smile and a bit of creative inspiration!
What are your top 3 stand-up specials to watch while we are at home?

My favorite comedy special has to be Julio Torres’ My Favorite Shapes in which he uses a conveyor belt to bring out various objects he finds fascinating and it is both bizarre and brilliant. It shows us that there are always new ways to tell jokes, which is something that is very relevant today as we all have had to find new ways to tell them in these unprecedented times. 

Because comedians have been forced to find stages that don’t exist in the outside world in order to continue to perform, we have a lot of options as far as being an audience goes. There are shows happening on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitch and other platforms in ways that haven’t happened before as people learn new skill sets. 

Seattle filmmaker/animator Tom Deslongchamp is making daily realtime animations. Comedy shows across the country are finding new ways to continue and now that geography is broken and everyone is telling jokes from their living rooms, I'm seeing lineups that would be impossible to have in physical space. An example of this is the Colorado Room out of Fort Collins, a weekly stand-up showcase that is using Twitch to still maintain the audience/performer relationship. 

How about comedies that are family friendly? 

Laughter is a fear response and comedy is a way to filter the chaos of the world into something both understandable and surprising. I think there is a lot of great comedy to consume with your kids as long as you don’t mind having honest and awkward conversations with them afterwards. But as someone whose only child is an elderly chihuahua who I let watch whatever she wants, I can’t make that decision for other people. 

Why was it important for you to keep the comedy community together and engaged during the stay at home order? 

Part of the magic of live performance is not just the connection to the folks in the audience, but their connection to each other, and the venue providing the space for the jokes to happen. We need these relationships to continue, not just by supporting performers and finding ways to gather together virtually, but advocating for the businesses and theaters that we need to stick around until we can meet in the real world again. 

With Joketellers Union we're using part of the donations we get to pay out the door people and bar staff from the Clock-Out Lounge because we have a responsibility to the creative ecosystem that we benefit from being part of. 
Currently I am seeing people give what they can, even if it is just time and attention and spreading the word, and it gives me hope that we can make it through this. But going from being able to rely on ticket sales to depending on tips and donations brings a lot of uncertainty. I have long believed that being an audience is activism in itself and that is truer now more than ever. 

Has the pandemic changed how you find and develop your material? If so, can you speak to these shifts?

Absolutely. Stand-up is a dialogue—one person tells jokes and the other answers with an emotional response. The struggle has been ways to keep that dynamic going. I have been fortunate enough to be able to bring all three of my shows to the Internet using different types of technology and formats for each one, and also have had to learn new skills and seek out new resources. 

There is also the challenge of finding things to laugh at in this time of terrifying change and tragic loss. We are all sharing a global experience right now in very personal ways and sharing that is extremely important right now. 

What are you most looking forward to doing on the other side of this? 

Being in the same room with other people’s laughter. 

You can follow Emmett on Twitter @emmettfungomery on Instagram @emmettmontgomery , and on Facebook

Washington Businesses Pivot to Make a Massive Amount of Masks
In response to the pandemic, creative people and businesses all over the state are stepping up—making masks and other protective gear for healthcare workers and frontline workers.

Creatives Around the World Rise to the Cause
Harriet Salmon, "Hero," ArtNetNews
From global pandemics to retail sales, only creatives can design campaigns that get the world to pay attention. The United Nations and the World Health Organization recently did an international open call to creatives to design artwork about beating COVID-19. And artists around the United States have created posters t o help motivate workers on the front lines. 

The Drum’s Creative Works is looking at how brands, media entities and others are using creativity to inform and educate the public during the coronavirus pandemic. And guess what? You can submit your work here to join this impressive list of creatives changing the hearts and minds of people living through the pandemic. 

And Amplifier , the Seattle-based design lab, is offering $1,000 grants to fund artwork that promotes COVID-related messages about public health, safety, mental well-being, and social justice.
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.