Not Working

Okay, I went on a bit of a rant earlier today over on Facebook. I had had a few people ask me my reasons behind helping out a friend, who has been out of work for the last two years, to raise some much-needed rent money. I think there’s a bit of a feeling of “what’s the point if it’s not a long term fix”. So here’s what I said…

Because I’ve been asked about this a few times, it’s time to clear some things up. I got involved with this because I know what it feels like to be struggling, to wonder if I’ll be able to pay my mortgage beyond the next month, to have to consider state assistance for certain things (I didn’t qualify for unemployment). I was lucky to have found part time employment pretty quickly after losing a full time job. Even with part time work, last year was pretty damn scary. I’m lucky enough to be back to work full time now and am grateful to be in a position to help out a friend with my time, money and talent.

This fundraiser is not a long term solution, it wasn’t intended to be. It’s a way to help a friend make it a bit further along as she continues to search for a job that will actually support her. She’s been doing odd jobs, applying for everything and has come close to employment several times in the last two years. She is not lazy and she is most certainly trying everything she can to find employment.

The result of this fundraiser has been an outpouring of support for another human being in trouble. Not all of the support has been with money, some of it is simply a kind word and sometimes that’s enough to keep going…it’s also resulted in several job leads.

Maybe the feeling for some is that they don’t realize that losing a job is about more than a lost paycheck. Some of your self-worth goes, too.

With that, I just got an invite to an event at Bookmamas in Irvington (9 South Johnson Avenue, Indianapolis) to hear DW Gibson read from his new book, Not Working: People Talk About Losing a Job and Finding Their Way in Today’s Changing Economy. Several Indianapolis locals who are featured in the book will be reading along with Gibson including Judy Wolf, Kelly Graham-MacDonald, and Nancy Lee. There will also be a Q&A and a preview of the forthcoming documentary. The event is Saturday, July 28 beginning at 2pm.


NOT WORKING – trailer from DW Gibson on Vimeo.




Save Melanie’s Apartment…and get some great art, too

I don’t usually donate to auctions. In general, they’re unfair to artists. We don’t actually get write off the fair market value of our work.

However, every once in a while a fundraiser comes along that means enough to me to that none of that matters. I’m not in it for the publicity, the hordes of promised new patrons, the insistence that I can knock some money off my taxes. I’m in it because it’s right.

This cause is right. I’ve donated and helped to organize an art auction, going on now on Facebook, in which all the money raised will go to help pay much needed rent for a friend.

About two years ago, Melanie lost her job. She’s a strong and talented person with immeasurable skills, but has been unable to find a job since. Now, she’s looking at the real possibility of losing her apartment.

For over twenty years Melanie has worked tirelessly for the Indiana arts community. It’s time for us to support her and give something back! – Michelle Merle Pace, artist, friend, Save Melanie’s Apartment organizer.

I met Melanie and the Indianapolis Art Center (then it was the Indianapolis Art League) as a kid as I tagged along with my mom for classes. Later, I got to know her better when I became an intern in the exhibitions department while in high school and she was running the IAC’s shop. I watched and admired her honest interaction with artists who sought representation or just an objective, thoughtful opinion of their work. She helped to start the careers of so many artists in Central Indiana by giving them a venue in either the shop or with hallway exhibits or just by being there for them. Few have worked harder on behalf of artists.

With that, I hope you’ll consider checking out the auction, which runs through 9pm EST on Monday, July 23. It’s a small, but mighty array of fine art and jewelry pieces from a pretty talented bunch, many with a direct connection to Melanie. You can pick up a great piece of art and help out a friend at the same time. All participating organizers and artists are donating their time and art so that all money raised goes directly to help our friend.Β  If you would rather not bid, you can contribute directly here via Indiegogo.
Thank you in advance. You’re doing real good.
P.S. If you would like more information on HR1190 (the Artist-Museum Partnership Act of 2011), visit the Americans for the Arts website or the bill itself can be seen here.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

With all this heat (it’s supposed to be a record-breaking 108F today) and no rain, nothing is growing. It’s been almost a month since I last mowed grass. I’m spending a lot of time indoors enjoying the air conditioning and all outdoor projects are on hold. That said, I’m not overly upset about not cleaning out the garage.

I thought I’d share though what my garden looked like this time last year…

I bought my house in July of 2007 and instantly fell in love with the yellow lilies that line the south side of the house. This year I got a lot of leaves and only a bloom or two. Boo.

Here’s hoping for some rain.