Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, Green Tuesday, End-of-year Bargains, New Year's Discounts and Red Tag sales. I'm sure I've missed a few...
I love a bargain as much as the next person, but the stacks of catalogues and frenzied, loud ads - not so much.
The holiday barrage of "buy now at lowest prices before it's too late" feels like so much pressure when compressed into a couple of months. And if these sales are to thank me for my business, wouldn't it be great if I could take a rain check for when I've got a bit more time on my hands?
I've been having these thoughts as more of my ongoing conversations with clients go beyond their art business. What's distracting these artists and causing genuine worry comes from the other roles they play in life -
- giving care to parents with Alzheimer's;
- recovering from hip operations;
- in need of someone to watch their kids while they had chemo;
- short of money to rebuild a studio after Mother Nature reclaimed the space.
They may be distracted, but they don't stop and they rarely complain. Every one of these dedicated artists inspires me with their courage and dedication.
I'll bet you know someone like this, or perhaps this is your life.
When I had my own health crisis in my forties, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by friends who astounded me with their love, care, money and actions to help me get back on my feet.
Alas, that is not the case for every artist who could use a helping hand when life serves up challenges.
"The lack of a safety-net for professional craft artists when personal or natural disasters strike was the impetus in 1985 for a group of craft artists and show producers to create the Craft Emergency Relief Fund. From a modest, grass roots mutual aid organization, CERF has emerged as one of the leading voices for safeguarding artists' livelihoods to ensure that they are as well protected as America's art treasures.
"The Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) was founded by Carol Sedestrom Ross, then president of American Craft Enterprises, and glassblower Josh Simpson on a single simple premise: people caring for one another during tough times. Building upon the grassroots gesture of passing the hat at craft shows for artists dealing with emergency situations, CERF created an ongoing pool of funds that are available to professional craft artists when they suffer career-threatening emergencies. In addition to the financial assistance, CERF acquires donated goods and services for beneficiaries from individuals, organizations and businesses."
I invite you to join me in starting off the year with some giving.
Make a donation to CERF+ and I'll send you a copy of a book in which I am a contributing author - "Courageous Stories of Inspiration" - at no charge and I'll also pay for shipping.
By passing the hat to help CERF+ help more artists in need of a hand, you can multiply one generous action fivefold.
- You'll get a receipt from CERF+ for a donation to use at tax time.
- For every artist who donates $25 or more to CERF+, I'll send you a complimentary copy of a book in which I am a contributing author - "Stories of Courage and Inspiration" and I'll also pay for the shipping.
- You can read and keep the book.
- You can pass the book along to another artist who could use a boost, or donate it to a hospital or library.
- You can read the book to someone who cannot read it without assistance.
Everyday, I appreciate the generosity of wonderful artists.
Will you help me pay it forward?
Yes, I want to help other artists.
(I'll need your mailing address, so remember to check the box on the form next to I am an ArtMatters! subscriber and am making this donation in response to their challenge. Please notify ArtMatters! of this gift.)
Read these related articles about other kinds of donations: