Environmental Observations

What makes a good landscape design? Are those flowers edible? What grows best where?

Friday, June 5, 2020

Protect our Cultural Resources art Fundraiser for Alaskans in Need

My husband and I are both from Texas so Willie is a hero to us! (but would be otherwise, he is universally great!)

The community, country, and world around slipped into illness, fear, and panic. I had been working at home grateful that my husband has a “critical infrastructure” job. The closing of businesses did not affect us in a manner detrimental to our well-being. 

We are fortunate, many around us are not. We live in Alaska. Contrary to mythical stories of state residents receiving subsidies to live here—of big oil, of big fish—salaries in this state are not that high. There are a few exceptions, of course: doctors, lawyers, a few in real estate, descendants of those who started the banks and grocery stores. But most incomes are hourly jobs, the service industry, and seasonal tourism. Many of the oil jobs are filled by out-of-state workers. The top industries are heath care; government and military; grocery and similar services; tourism; fishing; and oil, gas, and mining. That “subsidy” is the Permanent Fund Dividend, and it pays out on average, between $1,000 and $1,800 per year. 2020 is seeing the lowest payout yet, $1,000. In my opinion, that about covers the higher price of fuel and healthcare in the state. 

But the PFD is a subject unto itself. It should be apparent that the PFD would not make up anyone’s income that lost their job during the pandemic. The PFD, in most cases, would not pay one month’s rent in this state. The PFD would not cover yearly dentist exams, a trip to the ER, or health insurance payments—especially for a family. 

I had been thinking of what I could do to help those less fortunate than myself. All the food servers I rely on, the movie theater workers, the bus drivers, and airline attendants. All the people soon to be and already homeless. I shied away from volunteering because I didn’t want to get sick and transmit the virus to my husband. Though we are financially secure, for now, we cannot afford to lose our income. One day my husband and I were talking and he expressed an interesting concern. He said: “We need to watch out for Willie!” As in Willie Nelson, as in the virus is most detrimental to our elders and those with health issues. 

This is my poster version on velvet art paper
(I know you can't tell that,
but it's nice and heavy, and smooth!)

I took his idea and ran with it, applying the concern to other cultural resources: Jimmy Carter and the dedicated first responders and health care workers. I hoped, if I made some fun artwork to sell to others who also have secure incomes, I could take the proceeds and donate them to Alaska-based resources. Like many other middle-income Americans, I have been watching the late night shows and the regional and world-wide fundraisers. But unlike most states, those big nonprofits promoted nationally do not have much, or any, reach in Alaska. 

So I created these art pieces which anyone can purchase and have imprinted on an item of their choice: poster, t-shirt, mug, tote bag, and more. I will take the proceeds and donate right here in Anchorage, Alaska. Proceeds from the sales of “Watch Over Willie” will go to our food banks, Bean’s Cafe, and Children’s Lunchbox. Sales from “Shelter St. Jimmie” will go to the Downtown Hope Center which houses women and children. Sales from “Support the Front Line” will go to restaurants—keeping their workers employed—to give to businesses in the state that have transformed their operations to produce PPE. I have more works in progress that will be just as fun and attention-grabbing. 

My husband is a medic and I know nurses and doctors.
I have spent many hours as a volunteer *victim*
so I am well aware of their valuable skills!

I look forward to public support and helping more where I can. Thank you for your support!

Stickers coming soon.

Face mask choice on Fine Art America is pretty nice,
and for me was 11-day turnaround. 

Learning about Intersectional Environmentalism

Trail leaving the northern most point of the  Pacific Temperate Rainforest in Girdwood, AK. When I see acres of rainforest burning, or the s...