We interrupt this writing program to bring you news from the community of artists and humans who inspires us.
This week, we are sending our energy as best we can, concretely in the form of these words and action (money), and in spirit, prayers, thoughts, everything, to support the medical expenses of Ellen Sebastian Chang. Ellen was in an accident and needs our help to get back on her feet. The campaign is linked HERE. Whatever you donate, I will deduct from your next San Francisco adventure. Donate $200, I’ll let you in for free and feed you cookies.
Here’s why this matters so much to us:
1. Ellen Sebastian Chang is an Oakland-based artist, community organizer, activist. She brings people together. I wrote about her and her project A Hole In Space (Oakland Redux) a few months ago when, in a deluge of Valentine’s day candy hearts and hallmark cards, I was looking for the thing that love should be: real, dangerous, caring, joyful:
For seven days at the end of January, without warning or explanation, artists Ellen Sebastian Chang and Maya Gurantz set up screens and cameras connecting two neighborhoods separated by hyperspeed gentrification Rockridge and East Oakland. Signs next to the installation invited passersby to “see without judgment” and “say hello to your neighbor.”
“The piece will be successful to me if one person in Rockridge has one real conversation with one person in East Oakland and it’s done out of a place of curiosity and respect and a sense of real wonder.” – Ellen Sebastian Chang.
2. Ellen embodies what I aspire to as an artist and teacher. She brings people together for the sake of community, positive change, and art. In the first five minutes I met her, she changed my outlook. Simply put, we need her back on her feet to be the beacon and inspiration that she is. If you can donate, please join us. If you know someone who can, please share. If you’ve ever been to Fusebox (MMMMM-MMMMM!!) and met her, then you know, YOU KNOW, you’re already clicking on the link, I see it.
3. Those of us who are artists in this city, we need to not only stay here, we need to keep the spirit that we found here here. Ellen embodies this spirit. Let’s do it. If you can’t donate much, you can share.
Here’s incentive. I will deduct whatever you donate to this cause from your next writing adventure in San Francisco. If you donate $200, you get in free. Oh about those adventures? We’ll be sending the newsletter soon. Can’t wait to write with you. Back to our normal programming next week. Stay safe out there, comrades.