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Almeda Fire Resources for Artists

Almeda Fire Resources for Artists. On September 8, 2020, the southern Oregon art community suffered devastating losses. Along with the wider community, many artists lost their homes and all their belongings in the Almeda fire. This is a tragic loss for anyone, but for artists it also means that their home studios, all their supplies and equipment, and their entire life’s work in art was reduced to smoke and ashes. Coming after months of restricted movement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was crushing. Furthermore, some artists found this was a massive insult added to other horrific injuries to their lives and careers that they had suffered the previous month.

Southern Oregon Artists Resource cares deeply about each and every artist in southern Oregon. Our hearts are shattered at the destruction they have suffered. And a great number of them are our personal friends, too. Whether or not they are members of SOAR, they are vital to our overall community’s economic, educational and mental health. Moreover, they bring beauty, healing and hope in times of crisis. And now they need our help, and that’s why we’ve assembled these Almeda Fire Resources for Artists.

After shaking off the shock that hit everyone in the Rogue Valley, we reached out to SOAR members, asking how they had been affected and what they need. As time has gone on, we have assembled a list of valuable resources that artists should take advantage of as they work to rebuild their lives. We have also received generous donations of art supplies, so when you’re ready to begin restocking, please contact us to make an appointment and come pick up what you need. A few have already come by, and some connections have been made that resulted in artists getting artists getting supplies they need, so they again have brushes in their hands. We want to see you creating again, both to help yourself heal and recover from the profound emotional toll this has had on you and to begin replenishing your catalog of works available for sale.

We know there are many more out there who need assistance. However, you may still be occupied with the stressful and urgent search for housing (in a county where housing availability was already extremely limited) and basic necessities. At some point you will have at least a temporary situation from which you can start painting/creating again. This horrific experience will surely be the source of much inspiration— painting out the trauma and creating through the grief will help us all to heal. If you are already doing this and don’t mind sharing, please send a shot of what you’ve done and tell us your story. But there’s no rush. We will be here for you when you’re ready.

Almeda Fire Resources for Artists

Here is a list of resources that can help you get back on your feet.

General Help

https://wildfire.oregon.gov/ If you sustained uninsured losses or damage due to wildfires beginning Sept. 7, 2020, you may be eligible for disaster aid. Federal funds are available to help eligible individuals recover from wildfire in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion Counties. To apply, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362); TTY, call 1-800-462-7585; 711 or Video Relay Service, call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). Click here for more FEMA information or apply online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov

The State of Oregon announced a Disaster Unemployment Insurance program on 9/23. Here’s what we know:
If your employment was directly affected by the recent wildfires and straight-line winds, you may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). 

DUA is a federal program that provides financial benefits to people whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as the direct result of a major disaster. In response to the recent wildfires, the Oregon Employment Department has received approval to administer DUA on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). 

DUA is currently available for these approved areas, although additional counties may be added to the list: Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, and Marion.

If you live or work in one of these counties, you might qualify for DUA if you: 

  • lost your job as a direct result of this major disaster,
  • were self-employed and prevented from doing your job because of this major disaster,
  • were unable to reach your job because of this major disaster,
  • were scheduled to and prevented from beginning work or self-employment in the disaster area,
  • were unable to work due to injury as a direct result of the disaster, or
  • became head of household due a death caused by the disaster.

NOTE: You are not eligible for DUA benefits if you already receive regular unemployment insurance (UI) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

DUA is available beginning the week of September 13, 2020, and benefits will be available until March 20, 2021, as long as your unemployment continues to be a direct result of the wildfires. 

HOW TO APPLY

You should file your DUA application as soon as possible: Initial applications must be received on or before October 23, 2020. There are several ways to file your DUA application:

  • MAIL: Send your completed application to ATTN: Disaster Unemployment Assistance Unit, 875 Union Street NE, Salem, OR 97311
  • ONLINE: Submit your application materials through the Employment Department’s Unemployment website: unemployment.oregon.gov/contact-us 
  • IN-PERSON: You can complete an application packet in-person at the following FEMA/Red Cross locations:
    • Jackson County Fairgrounds (there are more, but this is what applies to use here)

DUA applications, instructions, answers to frequently asked questions, and more can be found on the Oregon Employment Department’s website:
www.oregon.gov/EMPLOY/Disaster

If you have additional questions and would like to speak with someone over the phone, please call 503-570-5000.

The Rogue Valley Relief Fund will go directly to help people most impacted by the fires. In the short term, this fund will be used to directly meet the needs of those who have been displaced by fires—tents, meals, gas, and other supplies folks need immediately. In the long term, we hope that this fund will support people who have lost their homes in these fires as they rebuild their lives, prioritizing those who have the least access to aid. www.mrgfoundation.org/rogue-valley-relief-fund1

Oregon Artist Relief Fund: This might not apply directly to the fire situation, but if you’ve seen sales drop off this year AND were affected by the fire, it could help you, too. Deadline to apply is November 10, 2020.:

Oregon artists may now apply to a new Artist Relief Program created by the Oregon Arts Commission in partnership with The Oregon Community Foundation and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. Awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 will be distributed until the program fund, totaling just over $1.25 million, is depleted.

“Without our artists, there would be no art in Oregon,” said Brian Rogers, executive director of the Oregon Arts Commission. “We feel strongly that, in addition to the significant relief we were able to provide to arts and cultural organizations through federal CARES Act funds allocated to the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oregon Cultural Trust, we need to offer relief funding to struggling Oregon artists as well. We are extremely grateful to The Oregon Community Foundation and the Miller Foundation for joining us in that effort.”

The purpose of the Artist Relief Program is to provide relief funding to Oregon artists who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic due to cancellations of exhibitions, performances, rehearsals or other activities with a stipend, events, teaching opportunities, book signings or other professional presentation opportunities. Guidelines are now posted on the Arts Commission website.

“In times of crisis, artists help us make sense of our world and stay connected to one another,” said Martha Richards, executive director of the Miller Foundation. “The Miller Foundation stands with Oregon artists in this difficult time because we recognize the critical roles they play in our communities and our lives–they are the foundation of our state’s arts ecosystem.”

“Oregon Community Foundation is thrilled to be a partner in this new Artist Relief program,” added Jerry Tischleder, Oregon Community Foundation’s program officer for arts and culture. “We recognize that independent and freelance artists are vital to the recovery of our communities, bringing hope and inspiration to the world while using their creativity to help process the collective trauma, grief and loss we’ve all experienced in these unprecedented times.”

The program supports professional artists from specific disciplines who have experienced or anticipate experiencing loss of revenue of $1,000 or more between March 1 and Dec. 31, 2020.

The artistic disciplines supported are: Literature (creative non-fiction, fiction, play writing and poetry); dance (including choreography); music (composition and music performance); theatre and performance art; folk and traditional arts; visual arts (crafts, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media and new media); design arts; and media arts.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 10. Awards must be spent by July 31, 2021.

Artists from underserved communities, including (but not limited to) rural communities and communities of color, as well as artists with disabilities, are especially encouraged to apply.

On Facebook:

There are a few groups of truly caring and reliable people working to help people recover from the fires. You can find information in the Southern Oregon Fire Info group. Now that some time has passed, many are no longer allowing GoFundMe links where you can donate cash, due to numerous incidents of fraud that were uncovered. These are groups that have been found to be trustworthy:

Southern Oregon Fire Victim Sponsorship Program

Medford Area Citizen Cares

Adopt A Family From The Ashes ALMEDA

Rogue Valley Relief Fund

Talent Maker City has a page with links to a lot of important resources here.

Important to Know if You DID Have Insurance

A web design client told us that if you DID have insurance and are dealing with them to establish a claim, you need to be VERY specific about your losses. For example, if you lost a set of 150 Sennelier (or whatever brand) professional artist pastels, be sure to say what brand or they will compensate you for the least expensive pastels possible. Do this for every item you are seeking compensation for, including clothes and other essentials.

Studio Space

The Ashland Art Center is formulating ideas on how to effectively provide some assistance in the aftermath of the fires. Please see attachment. They can offer temporary studio space at no cost. Priority consideration will be given to artists who have lost their working spaces due to the fire. We are asking you to please share this information with anyone needing a place to resume working on their art. (All types of art mediums). Please email [email protected]

Art Supplies

Central Art Supply tells us that they have set up several accounts for specific artists as well as a relief fund for local art groups and organizations that people can donate to. Please contact [email protected] or go to Central Art for more information.

Donated Art Supplies are available at SOAR. Please click to see our spreadsheet with everything that has been donated thus far. More is on its way, so if you don’t see what you need, send us an email and we will be happy to tell you what’s new and coming soon. Contact us to set up an appointment to pick up what you need. 10/15 update: We received a generous donation on Monday, 10/12, but haven’t had a chance to update the spreadsheet yet. Contact us to learn more and make an appointment to come pick up the supplies you need.

Sign Up as a Beneficiary of November Benefit Show

Art Presence Art Center is having a benefit show in November, offering donated works by their members. All proceeds will go to artists affected by the fire. They ask that affected artists fill out this form so they can contact you after the show to offer you aid from the proceeds of the show. They also have forms on the counter at the gallery, so stop in and pick one up when you find yourself in Jacksonville. The gallery is located at 206 N 5th Street, next to the historic courthouse. Contact [email protected]

Donations on Standby – Tell Us What You Need and We Will Connect You

  • A generous SOAR member has wood frames and canvases she would be happy to donate to an artist in need. Contact us and we will help you make arrangements to see and pick up what you need.
  • Another generous SOAR member is eager to help any one who needs it in any way that she can. “We are here for anything, any way for any one who needs comfort. Just let me know. I am in for any way I can be of help – watercolor supplies, my home for a cuppa or glass of ? or supplies that are needed. Painting supplies includes other arts…any knitters?” Contact us and we will help you make arrangements to see and pick up what you need.
  • Yet another SOAR member has an almost new easel. It’s tall and really gorgeous. Wood. Wheels. Adjustable. She’s glad to donate it to an artist who suffered the loss of their own easel in the fire. 
  • A former SOAR member has gently used pastels, surfaces and a tabletop easel she would like to share with an artist in need. Contact us and we will connect you.
  • A glass artist who is a friend of SOAR has plenty of sheet glass to share. Bullseye mostly but also Oceana, Yogi, Kokomo etc. It’s in her garage in 18”x30”x18” plastic craft bins. A glass artist could go through the bins and fill one up with her choice of glass. Will set a table up so she can look. No big sheets but about 6 bins of 12×12 and large scrap. “We would open the garage door wear masks and be safe too. Let me know if this would help someone. If they didn’t have a place to take it to yet, we can mark it and I’ll keep it in the garage till they can come get it.”  Contact us and we will help you make arrangements.
  • Masterpiece Fine Arts Foundation is a member of SOAR. Jeanne, the organization’s director, said her artists would be happy to donate whatever they have that artists need. Be sure to let me know what you need so I can pass it on to her and find out who can help you!
  • Jessica Lee Findleton Can help with photographing/documenting damage. She also started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for artists who lost their studios and artwork in the fire. Please contact her through the campaign to learn more about how to access aid. https://www.gofundme.com/f/25c56q5qeo. Contact Jessica via the campaign.
  • Renee Childs of Harmonic Designs in Talent can retrieve art archives for those who have scanned their artwork with her.  “If anyone has extra thumb drives to donate… I am happy to fill them with beauty.” [email protected]

FOR DONORS – Artists Who Need Help

Below are our Almeda Fire Resources for Donors. Please note that the GoFundMe links we include below are for artists we know and are safe to donate to.

GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for artistswho lost their studios and artwork in the fire. Please contact her through the campaign to learn more about how to access aid. If you are a donor, please share to increase donations to this one! https://www.gofundme.com/f/25c56q5qeo

  • Felix Matchett at SO Clay Distributors says several potters have lost their homes. Contact [email protected] for details on how you can help.
  • Judy Benson LaNier has lost everything! We do not have her contact info but you can send her an email through her website https://s2naturalimages.com/contact.html She had been slated to show at Art du Jour in October and they should be able to help you contact her with your offer of help.
  • Andre Angermann: I am one of the people who lost everything in the Almeda fire. I had moved into the Bear Creek Mobile Home Park in the beginning of August and had brought my very last load of things there on Saturday September 5. For now I am OK staying in a temporary situation. Amazingly enough I had my new computer with me and the flash drives with the original files. Once I get a new copy of CorelDraw, the software I used to create them with, I can get new prints and offer them to customers. I also have jpg’s of different sizes which can be used to make prints. If there is anybody who either has a copy of CorelDraw or has access to buy one at a student price that would be very helpful as I need the program for any modification or resizing. [email protected]
  • Sheri Croy: “Like so many others, I lost my house and with it all my supplies, completed works for sale and in process pieces. My main medium is paper on glass and I lost 10 years’ accumulation of curated glass pieces for this work – more than 600 vessels, votives and candle holders, hundreds of assorted glass ornaments, magnets and jewelry pieces as well as several glass lamps, all my colored paper, hand-dyed and specialty papers, scissors, punches and blades. Over the last 2-3 years, I had diversified into alcohol inks and wood burning and had assembled gear to begin exploration of block printing and screen printing. I also lost all my colored pencils, sharpies, acrylics, pastels and watercolors along with my substrates of all sizes shapes and types. Losing the house and all of our belongings is devastating, losing the ability to work through the pain creatively and remember all the unique pieces of glass I’d been inspired to collect is just heartbreaking. I do not have a website, but my works can be seen on both Facebook and Instagram under Sheri Croy Artist.”  https://www.facebook.com/sheri.croy.artisthttps://www.instagram.com/sheri.croy.artist/ — GoFundMe page: https://gf.me/u/yxzipf
  • GoFundMe links:
  • Miles Frode – Lived in Talent and lost his house and 30 years of artwork. This talented artist, who specializes in abstracts/cubism and more, needs a place to live and art supplies to get him through this. https://www.gofundme.com/f/miles039s-lost-art-alameda-fire
  • Norm Rossignol: It’s so hard to start from scratch when you’re over 70! But with your help, that’s exactly what Norm will do.  GoFundMe link – https://gf.me/u/yxrrwp
  • Janet London: Janet formerly did pressed flower mandalas that were an amazing source of joy, just like she is. Earlier this year she was doing some amazing things in acrylic, preparing to make a comeback. Her husband just passed away from cancer, her mother passed away, and now their Talent home, her studio, is a pile of ashes. GoFundMe link – https://gf.me/u/yxzcvq
  • Jannie Ledard: Janie is a brilliant glass artist and a dear, loving person. No words can express how hard it is to begin again with nothing at 80+ years of age. GoFundMe link – https://gf.me/u/yyiggb
  • Steph Waaser shared this link tree of GoFundMe and PayPal accounts for OSF staff who lost everything. Most of these folks had also been laid off back in April due to the pandemic. They need all the help they can get: https://linktr.ee/memegarcia
  • Bridget Reynolds (from Ashland Art Center): Lost her home in Talent, Oregon along with all of her belongings and art work. She is going to have to start over from scratch: finding housing, getting clothes and toiletries, basic household items, as well as replacing her art supplies so she can continue to paint and create. She fled with the clothes she was wearing and a few personal items she grabbed when she left her home. She has selflessly volunteered for hospice, end of life care for many many years and could really use the community’s support to help her navigate the next steps to rebuild.  Funds raised here will be used only by Bridget to secure new housing, replace furniture, personal household goods, new clothing, toiletries, food and to get a paintbrush back in her hand.  GoFundMe page: https://gf.me/u/yxykbf
  • Daniel Verner lost everything including his entire life’s work of art. GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/verner-oregon-fire-relief/

More Heartbreaks and How You Can Help

We have learned that Cecilia Pestlin, a lovely artist who we met when she was associated with Art Presence, suffered a stroke in early August and wasn’t sure she would ever paint again. Then, on 8/19, her 102 year old mother died (not COVID-related). And THEN, she and her husband lost their home in the fire. Imagine going through either one of those second two events while trying to recover from a stroke!! They have a safe place to stay in Medford, but she is so deeply traumatized that she doesn’t want to talk to anyone. However, cards and letters are welcome (flat mail only, please). Her new address is PO Box 928, Talent, OR 97540. Whether or not you know her, and if you were affected by the fire or not, please send poor Cecilia a card and let her know she’s loved.

Free Association Gallery – Philippo LoGrande Fundraiser Saturday, November 14, 4–10 pm: We’ve all seen Philippo out painting the historic buildings of Ashland and Jacksonville. Well, his home burned down in August. Then he was diagnosed with inoperable, metastatic brain tumors. As a result, he has lost most cognitive function. He is now receiving treatment in California, and the friends who are caring for him need help covering his expenses—diagnostic tests, consultations, medicine, food and lodging—so this month’s event is a fundraiser to benefit Philippo and his caregivers. Please join us at 120 North 4th Street, Jacksonville, Oregon. Call 541-200-4184 to discuss ways you can help privately.

Almeda Fire Resources for Artists: Southern Oregon Artists Resource SOAR new logo

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