Times are tough, the economy is imploding. If you live in Illnois, though, there are some options.
If you’re a working artist in Illinois, you can apply for the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund. It’s a $1,500 grant for working artists. Just upload a driver’s license/state ID, and proof that you’ve made creative work in the past two years, and get to submitting. Grants are chosen at random, so keep that in mind before you start spending the money in your head.
My friend Keidra has compiled a list of COVID-19 response funds, mutual aid and support services. If you need help, click the link to see what’s available.
The IRS finally released information on how to get that $1,200 check. The tl; dr version is this: file your 2019 tax return and give them direct deposit information. Bam, money. Hopefully. Likely not soon.
When I went full-time with my business, I started taking improv classes. I knew that I was going to be in front of hundreds of strangers selling jewelry at every art fair. Knowing also that I was an introverted weirdo, I wanted to be more comfortable talking to those strangers. Level 1 was a lot of fun and I made a bunch of friends. But starting with level 3, I realized that was surrounded by people who were on their college improv team in flyover country, and who desperately wanted to be on SNL someday. And a lot of the instructors were depressive SNL wannabe alcoholics who really liked preying on girls from Iowa in their early 20s. Everyone had daddy issues.
I wasn’t even in the cult, just around it, and I still have deep feelings about it.
In any case, if you want to know what it’s like to do improv in Chicago (“This work is for artists, geniuses, and poets”), watch Improv Guru by clicking here. I don’t know if it’s too inside baseball, but hopefully you’ll also find it hilarious.
Feralcatbox has offered some free coloring pages of birds with matches. I love them. Download the images by clicking here.
Subversive Cross Stitch has some free cross stitch patterns to work on if you have needle, thread, and a deep desire to stab something multiple times. Download the patterns by clicking here.
I don’t know if it’s the thick fog outside or the fact that I’ve been cooped up for almost two weeks, but I feel like doing a spooky-themed Free Stuff for the End of the World. Let’s go:
First up is Hellier. The entire series is on Amazon Prime or on YouTube. You can watch the first season here, and the second season here. I’ve watched the entire series twice, and encouraged anyone I know with an interest in the paranormal to watch it. Goblins, aliens, witchcraft, tin cans. It’s perfect. Watch it.
John E.L. Tenney is a weirdo and UFO researcher, and he’s put a lot of documents related to all things mysterious online. Read UFO bulletins from the 1950s and government documents about the Kinross Incident by clicking here.
My good friend Katie recently told me to watch Ghost Story Club. I was hooked after the first episode and immediately binge-watched the entire series. Aside from funny stories about ghosts, aliens, and a genie, the show features some of the most incredible set design I’ve ever seen. It has miniatures! And puppets! I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard all month. You can also binge-watch the series by clicking here.
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I had a really hard time writing anything about this yesterday. I find joy in all of the cool free things that people are offering, but this is also a time of disappointment, uncertainty, abject terror, and grief for a whole lot of people.
But if you’re looking for a distraction or some brightness in your life, here are some coloring books being offered for free.
This coloring book by Justin Castaneda features activity pages as well as coloring pages.
Indulge your nostalgia for simpler times (and complicated romances) with the following cartoons available for free to stream right now.
Jem and the Holograms. I loved this show so much and I obsessively played with my Jem dolls long after the show went off the air. I also met Samantha Newark at C2E2 and she was wonderful and I somehow didn’t cry. Anyway, the show is all available to stream on Tubi RIGHT NOW. So click the link to get in on exciting adventure, fashion, and fame.