VOTE! DEMAND CHANGE! Do what you can to educate yourself, listen up, and keep pushing forth NEW WAYS. In NYC, we jumped from extreme quarantine and mask-centric conversation to protests and passionate community outbreak. Clapping at 7pm for our heroes outside the window and marching in the streets simultaneously.
Since March, I was shipping out thousands of masks and hundreds of care packages to essential workers in the city and the states, and as months went by, I created a heroes rock tee for a fundraising shout-out to our volunteers and workers battling and fighting COVID-19. Donations were made to New York Cares COVID-19 Volunteer Relief Program and Black Lives Matters Global Network. I did what I could and can to help, but this is all such a mind fuck and so much bigger than any single one of us. We are battling so many problems from our social norms and climate catastrophes to political nightmares and economic panics. We have to stay unified, and again -- DEMAND CHANGE AND FUCKING VOTE!!!
As soon as BLM protests resurged in the city, I joined and supported the marches on a consistent basis as it's VERY important. A contradiction as I was 100% in isolation then marching with masks. But I was tested multiple times for coronavirus after I marched and continued to quarantine. Distributed masks at protests and kept a solo distance, rarely attending with social groups. What can you do man, these times?! I can not stay silent, as I did post on social media at first quite a bit, but then fell dormant because, well, social media can become mentally destructive. You can't always convert people buy reposting a meme. Especially as an artist, I needed to soak up these overwhelming experiences.
From protest signs to canvas, I made an effort to contribute my voice. Raise up and focus on black voices first, but every person needs to have their backs right now. The Cool People were there to stand the hell up!
NYC is completely different now, as countless businesses have shut down and most industries have changed drastically. Homelessness is at a high, people are moving out like crazy, and tourism is quiet. People struggle to have food and resources of safety. Health is of mass concern. Places are re-opening with restrictions, but I just don't know how things will unfold as we move into the fall and winter. It's really sensitive, and lonely times. If you're lucky to work from home, its a plus and minus. There are so many with various levels of privilege who need to check their privilege. I know I continue to check myself because you can always learn more than you think you know. Take a step back from where you are and absorb. Some seem to juggle the opinion back and forth whether or ignore and just live a life, but sorry, it's an artist duty to reflect the times. Thanks Nina Simone for that lesson. And it's also so essential to keep caring. All forms of pandemic are not trends. Just to proclaim a few: Vote! Educate! Empower black voices! Fund Planned Parenthood! Shelter our homeless! Help our youth! Elevate our health care! Know love is love! Declare you identity as yours! Protect our environment! Consider other's mental and physical health! Eat smart! Prioritize your pets! Thank your heroes! Wear a mask! Love yourself! DEMAND CHANGE. And I am sure I am just touching the tip of the iceberg here. I'm passionately reminding your to just care and use your voice to help where you can.