The End of the Year: goddamn 2020 edition, what we did, what we gave, and where we go.
Haha, where do we start. This post is a kind of a Frankenstien. Part Thing, Part year-end wrap-up, part index, and part giant soul-explode. I really hope you read it. The team all contributed and it’s like the War and Peace of our times. I especially hope you read what the team wrote. It’s really important.
I’ll kick it off by saying:
Well, fuck. 2020.
When I took the picture above at the end of April 2020, my whole world had pretty much fallen apart. I couldn’t believe what was happening in my personal world, and I couldn’t write about it. I still can’t. It was the hardest few days I’ve ever been through in my life, and I’ve been through a lot. You were there for me. I posted it up with a Rumi quote:
Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.
Last night, I faced a heartbreak I didn’t think would come for years. Ash and I were in the middle of our nightly storytime and cuddle ritual, and he turned his back on me.
He said: “Mama, stop touching me. I don’t want you to touch me, ever ever again.”
I reached out to stroke his hair and he screamed “I MEAN IT. DON’T EVER TOUCH ME EVER AGAIN. DON’T CUDDLE ME. EVER. AGAIN.”
Decades of therapy and work on my fucking self led me out of the dark woods – I wanted to punish him, I wanted to force him to love me, I wanted to fix it all for him, for me.
And so I went silent, and he went to sleep there, rocking himself. It took every fiber of my being not to cradle and comfort him. But I knew he needed something larger than my arms. I knew I couldn’t do anything about it but….let it go. And I knew that my own desires had to be set aside to protect this sad, fragile, heartbroken child. Old enough to know it’s all wrong, too young to understand why.
When he woke up this morning, he finally had a full-blown temper tantrum, tears and all, which encompassed wails and blubbers about all the darkness in his head, his anger at covid, his lack of father, his desire to watch “Grease” again, how he is angry at me for being sick and how wants his old not-sick mother back, how he wants to have candy for breakfast EVERY day, how he wants the wooden walking cane that we saw at the drugstore that I wouldn’t let him have….and for the grand finalé, he looked at me with more anger than i’ve ever seen on a child’s face, just pure hatred, and wailed, at the top of his ragged lungs:
“I want…..I want….I WANT EVERYTHING I WANT!!!”
Then he collapsed in incoherent sobs on my lap.
Oh, Ash. Christ.
I want everything I want, too.
It all feels like a fitting end to 2020, being sick in bed alone in a foreign country with a stomach bug in some random air bnb where I came to get away from it all for New Years but actually I’ve just isolated myself from the newly familiar, listening to a five-year-old screaming the core essence of zen buddhism so loudly in your ear you can’t ignore it.
I WANT EVERYTHING I WANT.
There you have it.
After the tantrum, we got out of bed.
I have never before – since lockdown – let him watch a screen during the day. It’s the nuclear option. We don’t watch unless it is our weekly movie night.
It’s 9 am and he’s on my computer, watching “Grease”. At least I didn’t give him a bowl of fucking candy.
I am doing my best.
We are all just doing our fucking level best.
I am typing this post on my phone, because I don’t have my computer. Because Ash has it, to watch “Grease”. Which is a sexist as fuck and kind of terrible movie and it’s all my fault for playing him “Sunmer Nights” thinking he’d like it and then one thing led to another and now here we are and yesterday Ash marched me to the pharmacy and insisted I buy him “hair grease” (we found gel) and a black comb “like Danny Zucco’s”. My son wants to be John Travolta 1978. What have I done.
All year long I’ve been meaning to ask my community for good books and movies that aren’t sexist pieces of shit. But I’ve been too tired and busy. I’ll get there.
There’s a song on the “Grease” soundtrack that Sandy (aka Olivia Newton-John c. 1978) sings in duet with Danny (aka John Travolta c. 1978) called “You’re The One That I Want”. On our long drives through the New Zealand countryside, Ash has been asking me what all of these songs mean. Then he thinks about it for a while and summarizes.
The other day, at the grocery store, he turned to me and said Mama, when Sandy sings “You’re The One That I Want”, she is really saying “Don’t Be Mean Again”.
Yes, Ash. That’s what she’s saying.
I want everything I want. That’s an understatement.
I want my old fucking life back. But actually, I don’t. My old fucking life wasn’t working. So many parts of it were rotting and unsustainable.
I want my fucking country to be okay. But my fucking country was never okay.
I want a lot of things to be okay that were never okay to begin with.
I want to blink my eyes and wave my magic wand and go back to….
but, y’know, I don’t.
There is nowhere I want to go back to. Nowhere in the past beckons.
I don’t want to go back to the start. But I gotta.
The past is over, and it was always supposed to land me here and now, this particular set of coordinates. This country. This stomach flu. This five-year-old screaming zen in my face. This life. These problems. I wouldn’t trade this struggle for another one. I’ll take it.
I want everything I want.
I will always want everything I want.
But I can change what I want.
What I want is changing.
I bet this is happening a lot, out there, as we all rage and face the rage of those around us, our children, our families, our lovers, our friends.
We are being changed.
I went back to find that orginal shot, that selfie I took in April of 2020, and I was sort of delighted to see that I’d done a whole little photo shoot, and that this one other shot was taken a few moments later.
I think it deserves to be unearthed now that I’ve survived the last nine months. Gestation period of a new soul.
Here she is:
Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.
Wherever you are, I hope my words can reach you.
It’s true. This life, this illusion, this fucking story we trudge through, it’s truly impermanent.
People die, babies die, illness strikes, brains bleed, nature strikes at random, people can be cruel.
And yet: kindness is found everywhere, still. Don’t grieve any longer than you have to. Anything you lose comes around in another form.
And….if I may add to the Rumi, anything you love, or loved comes around in another form, too.
Your dead or estranged loved ones are still alive, somewhere, re-manifested. In you, in the wind, in your thoughts, in your child, in your art, in your work, your kindnesses, your additions, in the soul-food you feed others.
It’s the now-traditional End of the Year Post, my loves.
This is the last post of the year I’m going to officially “Thing”, and since it’s the 7th thing of the month (we had five podcasts this month, since there were five tuesdays, and there’s was the “City Hall” video), we’ve made AFP patreon history.
Never so many things in one month, and this year we’re doing something a little different.
Every year we’ve done a round-up of ALL THE THINGS that have come out, and we usually do a big end-of-year Thing for charity. But since I’m at such a low ebb, we are going to simply give away the money from this end-of-year post, and instead of choosing a single charity on my own, I’ve asked every hardcore member of Team AFP (Michael, Hayley, Jordan and Alex) to give away a chunk of change to a charity that they believe is in need right now. Michael and Hayley are in New York, Jordan in Australia, and Alex in the UK.
There’s been a saying going around Aotearoa about the pandemic: “We’re all in the same storm, but none of us are in the same boat.”
I’ve never felt more disconnected from the whole storm and lost in my own boat, wondering through the fog what everybody else is going through. My own situation is so strange, so strange I can barely relate to it myself. But I still have an unimaginable amount of privilege. I’m in a country with almost no COVID. I have all these patrons. I’m able to work remotely and make enough money to keep my staff paid, and insured, and even have some money left over to give away.
I am blessed. To have this patreon. To have you all here in my life. And to be able to share your patronage forward to so many causes.
As you read where all this money went over the course of the year, and as you read about where Team AFP are sending more thousands, please remember…this is really YOUR money. I’m just the conduit, using art to re-shuffle it into the world. And I love my fucking blessed job and that I’m able to do stuff like this.
Over the last year, Team AFP made roundabout $80,000 in donations, most of which came from specific patreon projects like songs, music videos, merch and concerts to benefit various organizations, non-profits, and crowdfunds.
Below is a list – lovingly assembled by Queen Hayley before she took off for her much-needed break – of the donations we made, together, and the art projects associated with the donations. This isn’t a complete list of where money went…but it’s a pretty good chunk of stuff. It doesn’t include the $10k we raised for the Biden/Harris ActBlue campaign with the cameo-a-thon I did right in the run-up to the election, that was pretty wonderful, too.
It also doesn’t inclide all the money that was given away by podcast guests. I give them all an offer of a cash payment or the option to pass that money onto a charity of their choosing, and many of them choose to pass it on. So we just pay the charity, but we keep it private. Maybe we shouldn’t, but I didn’t want any of the other podcast guests who preferred to be paid to feel weird about it. But rest assured, many grands were given to many awesome places.
Take it all in….and feel the awesomeoness of patronage and what we’ve all done together this year, and what we’re about to do on top of that to cherry the cake:
STAR OF WONDER
$10,000 to Family of Woodstock, which is a local upstate NY network of individuals, paid and volunteer, whose mission is to provide confidential and fully accessible crisis intervention, information, prevention, and support services to address the needs of individuals and families.
the patreon post went out in December 2019, and the donation was made in January 2020 once the funds from decemeber were collected from patreon.
FORTY-FIVE DEGREES: A BUSHFIRE CHARITY FLASH RECORD
$4,000+ to FIRESTICKS ALLIANCE
in February 2020 i recorded and released this bizarro flash charity record to help raise money for FIRESTICKS ALLIANCE, an organization that teaches cultural burning, in effort to help with the dire bushfire situation. i donated all proceeds from the digital album,
BUSHFIRE RECOVERY EVENT
FIRESTICKS ALLIANCE received about $7,500
THE SEED MOB received about $7,5000
neil and i presented a show with special guests to raise money for two great organizations helping the australian community during the bushfire crisis, and year round: firesticks alliance and seed mob.
BUSHFIRE EP BENEFIT POSTER
FIRESTICKS ALLIANCE got $7,800
made with artwork by sarah beetson, sold at the melbourne benefit show and online in my worldwide webstores….
THE DRESDEN DOLLS – I’m Going to Go Back There Someday
$12,000 to The Boston Resiliency fund
with the release of our first official collaboration in many years as The Dresden Dolls, brian and i covered a classic muppets song with proceeds going to The Boston Resiliency Fund, a great organization helping local residents with covid-19 relieve…
IT’S A FIRE with Rhiannon Giddens
$9,000 to The Free Black University
Free Black University exists to re-distribute knowledge and act as a space of incubation for the creation of transformative knowledge in the Black community.
EVERYBODY KNOWS SOMEBODY
$500+ to CHANGETHEREF.ORG
released in august 2019, the digital download will forever raise money for this organization so each each year i collect the funds raised from bandcamp and donate them to the org
CHANGETHEREF.ORG is the non-profit started by manuel and patricia oliver after they lost their son. changetheref.org is trying to empower younger kids to get into politics and make REAL CHANGE around gun safety.
Here is a list of all the projects we released through your patronage here on patreon in 2020:
- There Will Be Some Introspection — On The Road with Amanda Palmer – Part 2: Revolution (long form written and photo journalism)
- an entire theater gives an artist a hug (song, mini doc)
- Beds Are Burning – ALL the Live Videos (live concert music videos)
- thinging the unclickable, thinking the unthinkable (prose writing)
- it’s my 44th birthday, a new forum for love, and a terrible story (web, the shadowbox forum)
- The Art of Asking About Abortion On the Road With Amanda Palmer — Part 3: Ireland (long form written and photo journalism)
- There Will Be No Intermission Artbook Digital Edition PDF (digital book)
- the NEW AmandaPalmer.net (web)
- Safe Spaces: On The Road with Amanda Palmer – Part 4 (long form written and photo journalism)
- The Dresden Dolls RETURN TO PARADISE (live concert film)
- Live from a crowded opera house in new zealand…it’s…a whole piano concert (concert livestream)
- CITY HALL with Jason Webley (song and music video)
….no WONDER WE ARE FUCKING TIRED.
HOW THE PATREON ITSELF IS DOING…
and now…NITTY GRITTY TIME. we haven’t posted Althings for the past couple of months so this is a round up of monthly post details that have not been shared with you yet.
as of this writing there are 14,137 patrons pledging about $47,499 for the first Thing each month.
i go over this stuff every month, but if you’re new to all this….patreon charges you monthly & retroactively, meaning that you get billed on the 1st of the month for all the Things released the month prior.
because people have their pledges capped (HOW MANY TIMES CAN I SAY THIS….if you are on a budget, you should cap your pledge please: here’s the tutorial again), the first “Thing” raises the most money by far, and anything released thereafter raises less and less. I LIKE THIS! THIS IS GOOD! it means i never feel too guilty!!!!!. really. do it. cap cap cap your pledge if you are on a budget.
the numbers below are gross. they are not net. meaning: it’s the money raised before fees were deducted by patreon and is not the total deposited to me. patreon takes a 5% fee (which they use to build and sustain the platform, which is GOOD) and then there’s a payment processing fee, which varies on a ton of factors and is usually between 5-9% of the total collected.
also, none of this reflects the money i SPENT MAKING THE ART, running the business, paying the office rent, getting myself around, getting the team around and fed and slept,….all the collaborators and my actual staff payroll, etc.
i don’t share that level of nitty-detail-stuff with you because i assume it would bore you to fucking tears. but you can trust me: paying for a full-time staff, office, manager, accountant, and massive team of art-collaborators ain’t cheap. sometimes we barely break even, especially when we do a lot of charity projects.
back in September, i Thanged Three Things:
August 2020: State of All Things was the first Thing and it earned about $54,434 from 14,674 patrons
The Art of Asking Everything Episode 1: Elizabeth Lesser was the second Thing and it earned about $23,662 from 8,489 patrons
Safe Spaces: On The Road With Amanda Palmer – Part 4 was the third Thing and it earned about $13,970 from 5,352 patrons
back in October, i Thanged Five Things:
The Art of Asking Everything Episode 2: Lenny Henry was the first Thing and it earned about $53,587 from 14,393 patrons
The Art of Asking Everything Episode 3: BJ Miller was the second Thing and it earned about $23,904 from 8,232 patrons
The Art of Asking Everything Episode 4: Laura Jane Grace was the third Thing and it earned about $13,353 from 5,159 patrons
The Art of Asking Everything Episode 5: Eli Pariser was the fourth Thing and it earned about $10,932 from 4,286 patrons
The Dresden Dolls RETURN TO PARADISE concert film was the fifth and final Thing and it earned about $9,949 from 3,924 patrons
back in November, i Thanged Five Things:
The Art of Asking Everything Episode 6: Leslie Salmon Jones was the first Thing and it earned about $52,451 from 14,033 patrons
The Art of Asking Everything Episode 7: Nadya Tolonnikova was the second Thing and it earned about $21,943 from 7,968 patrons
The Art of Asking Everything Episode 8: Jamil Zaki was the third Thing and it earned about $13,015 from 5,026 patrons
The Art of Asking Everything Episode 9: KT Tunstall was the fourth Thing and it earned about $10,271 from 4,088 patrons
Live from the Toitoi Opera House in Hawke’s Bay concert stream was the fifth Thing and it earned about $9,337 from 3,734 patrons
(we say “about” because patreon may be still trying to process some pledges that have yet to go through…we never know, you know.)
them’s the numbers.
i believe in the ebb and flow. so the patreon has dropped a bit $$-wise, but the number of patrons has stayed pretty steady, which is really great. it means that people are adjusting but sticking around.
DISPATCHES FROM TEAM AFP
Hello dear patrons,
It’s been a year, hasn’t it? One that has moved both incredibly fast and entirely slow, one that we won’t forget while also feeling in some ways unremarkable. The weight of the world has rested upon our shoulders, at different times and in different ways, but we are all burdened to have suffered in some way. And with that, I hope we have all learned to love more, too.
As I sit here and write my dispatch to wrap up the year, I reflect on sitting at this same desk in the same corner of my apartment next to the same window trying to write my team dispatch in April, and what the Spring in New York City as like. Only now, it’s snowing, and our lockdown (both self-inflicted and government ordered) has lasted longer than we thought it would have initially beyond any expectation. I write this still counting my blessings and all the things I am thankful for. With the difficulty of this year, the challenges it has imposed onto me, my life, and those I care for, I also reflect on the bright light that has shone its way through the cracks.
I hope that every time Amanda tells you that she loves you and appreciates you, that every time you read an update from me and the team where we tell you how thankful we are of your support, your patronage, your encouragement, and all the light you bring into our lives, you truly and fully understand how significant it is, how important it is that you are here and part of all this. That you are helping and participating in new art to be brought into this world, art that will hopefully provide comfort to you and yours, and to others, art that will make this world a little more colorful and less gray. That in being here, you are also literally putting food upon many tables, you are keeping our lights on and letting us plan for the future – a future of MORE ART, a future of MORE COMMUNITY, a future of MORE CHARITABLE GIVINGS, and empowering a group of people who love the community we’ve built together quite dearly. So you, yes you, THANK YOU for being here. Thank you for believing in Amanda and what she creates. Thank you for uplifting fellow patrons and fans alike. Thank you for being part of this, and thank you for enabling me to be part of this with you.
As we approach the new year, 2021, I am looking ahead with wide eyes and hope. Hope that these coming weeks, months and days of this new year will provide some much needed healing, relief and aspirations. I hope that for those of you who have been apart from the ones you love, a reunion is present in the not so distant future. I hope that for those of you who have suffered pain, illness or loss of a loved one, that time will help you celebrate the good times, the good memories and bring you some more comfort. I hope that we all can feel close, and soon, be close together in the same room and share in the moment and be present together soon. I hope to see a live concert in that not so distant future, I hope to take photographs of musicians sooner rather than later. I hope to feel safe and free and unbound, and I hope the same for you, too. I hope, I hope a lot of things, and I hope to keep hoping because without hope, what is there? Despair.
ON TO THE GIVING….
In talking about this year-end wrap up, and a summary of all the charitable donations made throughout the year, knowing that we’ll make one last one as a team, as a community in 2020, I suggested to Amanda that what if each of us, in Team AFP could nominate a charity to contribute towards so that we can raise awareness and give money to more than one worthy organization. She loved that idea, and I am truly honored to be able to select a cause to benefit.
I mulled over this decision for quite some time, there are so many worthy causes and charities to contribute to, so many local and grassroots organizations doing important work, and so many national and global organizations doing wide-reaching work across the country and around the world. So many places, so many people need help right now. I ultimately decided that I wanted to choose an organization that is important to me, one that I believe in wholeheartedly and have been following and contributing to for years, one that I’ve seen their work and keep on top of, rather than picking blindly. I decided to choose the ACLU, the American Civil Liberties Union, a national US organization fighting to protect civil rights and advocate for people tirelessly. They are not a partisan organization, and they’ve really showed up hard these last four years especially. I chose them because they have chapters in all 50 states and are working on some of the most important lawsuits, legal issues, and fundamental rights that I hope can reverberate in a wide-reaching way. Right now they’re arguing in the Supreme Court to protect trans healthcare, they’re working to reunite separated children with their parents and to hold the Trump Administration and our country accountable, they’re working to support the the legal right to abortion, to fight to end LGBTQ+ discrimination, they’re fighting on behalf of countless protesters for their rights to the First Amendment and trying to hold the government accountable for the violence that they bestowed upon its own citizens this year and beyond, they’re fighting for criminal justice reform and to protect the incarcerated from harsh conditions (especially in the covid era), they’re working to protect Dreamers and DACA recipients, to protect voting rights and fight voter suppression, and on and on and on. I encourage you to read their website and social feeds to learn more about the work that they’re doing and ways you can support them, if you’re so inclined. I particularly enjoy following their instagram account: @aclu_nationwide.
As my grandfather used to say (of course with each year swapped out from whenever it was that he last said it) – May the best of 2020 be the worst of 2021.
With all of my being, I hope each and every one of you has a happy new year.
It seems like it’s been quite some time since I’ve shared what was going on. For those of you who follow me on Social Media you will have probably noticed that my last Instagram Post was in early June and my last Facebook post was back in July. I’ve been quiet. I made that decision because I found that the internet was too loud for me to participate comfortably. I am, at heart, a pretty introverted person. I enjoy being near the hustle and bustle, but in the background helping other people shine. One of the many reasons I love my job so much. However, every once in awhile . . . often after much prompting, I do like to share. Since this is the end of the year wrap up post, Amanda asked each of us here at Team AFP to say a few words about . . . this fucking year.
I know that I’m not alone when I say that 2020 was definitely one of the most difficult years of my life. However, because of all of you and your continued belief in supporting art, this job has been one of the absolute saving graces of this seemingly interminable year of suck. Without all of you and your support things would look very, very different for me and my family. For that support and for all each and every one of you do in your own small way to help others, spread love, and bring art and light into this world; Thank you. After three and a half years this community never ceases to amaze and impress me and I love each and every one of you.
As we look forward into 2021 and as we begin to emerge out of this nightmarish global pandemic that has affected the lives of almost everyone on the planet I hope we all can try to remember the times that we came together. Here, in your own neighborhood, in your own house, with your cat, wherever there was a time where you were loved and consoled and returned that love and care back, those are the moments that I hope we cherish and remember. The pain, fear, and feelings of being alone will always be there, waiting in the wings, but if we choose to acknowledge them, see them, and then choose love, choose joy, choose reaching out to other beings and take care of them (and this includes nature, plants, animals, etc for all of us introverts) I truly believe this world will begin to heal and the noise of those who have decided to choose fear and hate and dissension will more and more often find themselves surrounded by people with open arms, gently reminding them that there is another way that doesn’t hurt as much and that we’ll be here whenever they are ready.
Now with all that in mind, Amanda has decided that this year we all get to choose our own charity. This is of course a difficult question for someone who cares so deeply about so many issues. Where will my money go? Where can it have the most impact? Is this charity ethical? Etc etc etc. Well, after much thought and back and forth in my head I remembered something that my mother used to always say (and even had the bumper sticker too) “Think Globally and Act Locally”. With that in mind I looked as close to home as I could and was very pleased to learn about Restoration Plaza which was the first Community Development Corporation in America. Started in the 1960’s and continuing to today, it’s an organization that takes a complete look at life in the surrounding neighborhood. Their Manifesto, posted on their website is beautifully written:
‘Dreaming is not for the sleepers.
Dreaming is for those awakened to the possibility in the air.
Who are alive to the streets.
Partakers in the game.
Dreaming unleashes you to fly above the haters, the persecutors, the naysayers.
Dreaming takes you to school.
Dreaming helps you say yes.
Dreaming makes you untouchable. A pillar of strength in a weakened world.
It sets your nerves alight.
Dreaming spreads like a contagion. Flowing. Building. Questioning.
We at Restoration have seen the power of dreams. And we are dreaming, too.
We dream of opportunities for the people of Bed-Stuy, a community that has borne the weight of America’s history and has lived through it with grace and dignity.
An institution of respect and equality.
A spiritual home for strength and opportunity.
We remove the barriers of opportunity, expel the darkness that eclipses hope, and dispel the shame that stifles our power to dream.
It’s time we enabled the people of Bed-Stuy to dream of things that never were and ask, “why not?”’
I am more than happy to both commit the donation from Team AFP as well as my own money to support this organization that aims to truly improve the quality of life for all residents of this local community.
Thank you again to each and every one of you for your support, your kindness, your light, and your love. I know that it all can be overwhelming at times and sometimes we all need to take a break, which is why we here at Team AFP are doing just that. I hope you each find a bit of happiness that helps sustain you through these times. If you ever need one, please know that this guy loves you and wants you to keep going.
I’ll leave you with one last quote that I also first heard from my amazing mom.
“You cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that you can do”
phew. this year has indeed been a fucking year. i visited vegas and new york at the end of january. VEGAS!!! THE US!!!! AEROPLANES!!!!
and then a month after i got home, the world shut down. i fell into a temporary mental black hole. i started digging myself out. and then connor, my partner who works as a paramedic, got sick with covid and ended up in ICU.
and then things started looking brighter. we plodded along. merch took a dip, so instead i took some time to breathe, collect myself, enjoy some TV boxsets, and throw myself into local volunteering.
during the pandemic, a “temporary foodbank” was set up by members of the local community where i live, to try and combat the excessive levels of poverty, particularly amongst families with children. they were collecting donations for food parcels for families, as well as providing after school food to youth clubs, to ensure that children were fed and healthy.
i first heard about this when they called out in a local mutual aid group reaching out asking for volunteers to help drive these food parcels, so since i was in a down period with my work, i put my hand up. since then, i’ve been spending a couple of hours a day, 4 to 6 days a week, delivering these food packages out.
it’s now grown to become a long-term, 6 day a week project, packing and delivering these food packages, and they’ve also been creating christmas hampers to distribute amongst families over the next couple of weeks too.
so……. with amanda’s very, very generous offer of a charitable donation, my charity of choice is indeed the Legendary Community Club, based in lewisham, london, where i live. there are so many huge problems to fix, but something like this, working at the direct, local level, means it’s very easy to directly feel the benefits, and getting to deliver personally to the youth clubs for the past 3 months, i’ve been able to directly see the good that’s being done. and it feels good to see a light shining brighter in this little corner of the world.
since it’s a brand new endeavour, the website is currently under construction, but the original gofundme page is here:
and there’s also a video featuring some words from the founder, and some of the young people and youth club workers we’ve been working with here:
obviously the need for these food packages has gone up as we head towards the holidays, but merch-land has also been truly ramping itself up for the holidays, between all the artists i manage merch for i have had over 2,000 orders to single-handedly pack and ship (as well as all the fun of design and manufacturing admin!!)
so after rapidly switching between all of these many, many hats, i have been running on pure fumes and adrenaline for about 5 weeks now, and i gotta admit…. i have fully burnt myself out and am teetering back on that black hole of despair once again. hooray!!! the year comes full circle.
but at least it held itself off until i’m on the home stretch of merch orders. these are going out the door, and then i am fully collapsing and will re-group myself and immerse myself back into my grey’s anatomy boxset.
see you on the other side, my friends.
-merch queen alex, signing off for the year (almost)
There’s no denying that this year has been one of the most challenging of my life, indeed for many people it’s the same. There’s been a lot of adversity to existence and it seems as if fate itself has been laughing manically while throwing roadblocks in the path of almost all I know and love, and everyone I know and love. What better chance has there been to take a step back and flex that compassion muscle? I know it certainly hasn’t been easy, especially when you are mired in your own mud, but damn it does feel good to do good when you can and when you are able. Amanda’s generosity of spirit and finance, aided by you, kind Patrons, gives me an opportunity to spread some good to my artistic community in Australia. Deep thanks both to Amanda and all of you who have made this donation possible,
The pandemic has cut a jagged and uneven swathe through society. Some people have magically found themselves in better circumstances than they anticipated, while others unexpectedly pulled the short straw and found themselves worse off than thought imaginable. For the most part, artists have experienced the latter. For this reason, I have chosen to donate my share of Patreon proceeds to:
In brief, Support Act helps artists, crew and workers in times of crisis. From paying peoples rent, medical expenses, counseling, car, petrol, groceries, to paying for funeral expenses and much more. Support Act has been an amazing resource for Australian artists in time of need. I have seen first-hand what this incredible organisation has done for people I love and work with. They provide immediate and confidential support. We’re very lucky to have them. It feels right to channel these funds to an organisation whose work I have felt resonate deeply through the industry I work in.
I want to take this moment to express my incredibly deep gratitude to each and every Patron whether you are reading this or not. My year, Team AFP’s year, Amanda’s year – all of us – this year would have been very different without your compassion. This is a case of strength in numbers. Your collective support holds immeasurable value to us financially, emotionally and psychically. I know that many of you have found comfort in the community and really… this is an amazing thing we have built. It’s unique. Whether you are giving $1 a month or hundreds, your involvement has been felt and your generosity is firmly acknowledged and appreciated on many levels. It’s inspiring to be a part of this business and this art-community. I’m continually inspired by Amanda and all of the people in Team AFP whom I work with every day who have continued to pull through and deliver the goods professionally despite the adversity and severe mental challenges of everyday life this year. The fact that about 15,000 people take the time to give and be a part of this work that I am involved with and indeed – to do good – gives me continual inspiration. If only our little art-bubble society could be reflected on a larger scale across the globe. Imagine that world. I feel like we’re on our way there. With much love in my heart I thank you all once again.
What a fucking team.
I cannot tell you how grateful I am to work with people like this, who care and love like this, and who give like this. I hope you are proud to be supported them. I am. No words.
And….I made one final donation with the money from this post, to a local charity I became aware of living in my tiny corner of the world.
Aotearoa New Zealand may be free from COVID (more or less) but domestic violence is still a massive plague.
The local charity that works on that problem is bootstrap, and they really needed an infusion this season. We did it….my donation portion of this post, right alongside the teams is going here: http://hastingswomensrefuge.org.nz/
In response to the growing need to create safe havens for abused women and children the Christchurch Women’s Refuge Centre opened in 1973; the Auckland Halfway House in 1975 and in 1976 Dunedin Women’s Refuge emerged. All these Refuges were developed from the work of feminist groups.
However in Hastings the Refuge was begun by a group of married couples who belonged to organisations such as Barnado’s who saw a need for services for women and children who were experiencing Domestic Violence. It is not clear how many years of preparation and planning took place first but in 1978 Hastings Women’s Refuge Inc was established under the name Women’s Emergency Centre (Hastings) Inc and was the sixth Refuge in the country.
“The Women’s Emergency Centre Hastings (INC) has now been working for a year and during that time has survived only by the valiant efforts of a wonderful group of volunteers and the Grace of God. It is now firmly established and known, and proved to be providing an essential service in the relief of misery, the preservation of families, and the welfare of children.”
Almost the end.
To all of you…..
wherever you are and whatever is happening.
I know you’re like me. And Ash.
I know you want everything you want.
I know you’re probably getting crushed by new realities.
I hope we can all keep banding together and keeping making change, inner, outer, planetary, intergalactic.
Here’s to 2021 not being too hard.
Let’s make some light.
I love you.
I love you.
I really, really, love you.
Thank you for helping me all year, and thank you for helping me help others.
——THE NEVER-ENDING AS ALWAYS———
1. if you’re a patron, please click through to comment on this post. at the very least, if you’ve read it, indicate that by using the heart symbol. that’s always nice for me to see, so i know who’s reading.
2. see All the Things (over 100 of them) i’ve made so far on patreon:
3. JOIN THE SHADOWBOX COMMUNITY FORUM, find your people, and discuss everything: https://forum.theshadowbox.net/
4. new to my music and TOTALLY OVERWHELMED? TAKE A WALK THROUGH AMANDALANDA….we made a basic list of my greatest hits n stuff (at least up until a few years ago, this desperately needs updating) on this lovely page: http://amandalanda.amandapalmer.net/
5. general AFP/patreon-related questions? ask away, someone will answer: firstname.lastname@example.org