An update regarding Revolution Art Offensive:
Eventually RAO's website will be fully operational just like the Death Star. For now, RAO is scrambling to do many things with little disposable money, so building our website is low on the priority list. But in the interest of keeping our modest base informed about what's going on, I thought I'd update all the GOOD THINGS that have happened as a result of Revolution Art Offensive going live only a few months ago.
Our first two campaigns--not even officially RAO yet--raised almost 1,500 dollars for Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood. For two independent artists to raise that much money for organizations, that means the world to them: AMAZING.
At the same time, nascent RAO was gathering two things: artists and momentum...which, when starting from scratch is an uphill climb. A group of us spitballed names for the collective, and finally landed on Revolution Art Offensive after coming up with some great ones, including "Cheeto Liberation Front."
Then came the artists, one of the first of whom jumped into the fray armed with little but belief in our idea (namely, to fund the causes and people at greatest risk in the Trump era) and two great designs, one for the Trevor Project, one for IRCO. Then we got us a genuine Haiku Rock Star to help us, (Danny Bland) and added Kitty Dentata (or "Pussy with Teeth" by Judy Mccandless) to our collection.
We've only been doing this craziness for five months (Dec. 13, 2016 to be exact), three of which were under the official RAO moniker. But in those five months, we've paid out 427 bones to Pro-Choice America, around 1000 to Planned Parenthood (through a separate but affiliated campaign), $153 in a first installment to Emma Goldman Clinic, (with another month on their campaign to go) $271 to IRCO, $271 to the Trevor Project. We're waiting on funds to clear on more designs, and then in five months we'll have raised--with ZERO FUNDRAISING EXPERIENCE--around 4 GRAND for various organizations, all in the aim of countering the narrative and realities of Trumpistan.
If you're not impressed by 4000 bucks, let me tell you that the artists who are raising it are impressed because artists often don't have much to spare. So it's a win-win-win: we raise money for groups----> from broke artists who don't have to pay money to said groups themselves---> and we all resist as a unified voice against the many battles on our rights, our bodies, and our environment.
In other words: Suck It, Trump.
Here's another thing: we've added kids into the fray with RAO, Jr.
And god knows since they're the ones being handed the fallout from this electoral college disaster in their future, it's really best if we give them the tools to not just resist, but feel as though their voices and actions are heard, that they're empowered to speak loudly even when everything seems stacked against them.
Our first RAO, Jr. design was by Milo, age 10, and raised (to date--with one week left in the campaign: Apr. 17) just under 250 bucks for the Trevor Project. (The Trevor Project, between personal donations [thanks, anonymous donor!], Jen's design "Love is Love," and Milo's design "All One People" has closed over 1500 dollars toward saving LGBTQ kids from isolation and suicide. Could we be more proud? Only if we personally put the handcuffs on all the criminals in the current administration ourselves.)
Our next RAO, Jr. design is going towards Southern Poverty Law Center, and we hope it raises awareness to hate crimes, racial inequity, the good work of SPLC, and emboldens our young charges with the belief that they create change by merely speaking aloud even if their voices shake.
So there it is. We're kind of like "The Beneficent Society for Oddballs and Weirdos." Our designs tend towards edginess, but you know what? THESE ARE EDGY TIMES. I personally have never felt the imminent threat of greed, hate, discrimination, nepotism, and narcissism with the razor-sharp clarity that I feel it now, and I survived Reagan. So yeah, we're edgy.
But we also have hearts made of solid gold. We're highlighting designs from all quarters and funding organizations that resist on the many fronts of Trumpistan. Is it efficient? We don't know, and we don't care. We believe--and the artists believe--that equality and human rights and the risks of climate change are all a piece of the greater whole. We at RAO let artists make their choice of organization to fund (except for the NRA. They don't get bupkis.) because we know that we each of us have dogs in the race. They're not all the SAME dogs, but they're all combating tyranny.
It's all one very messy front, and we're happy to give platform to the many voices shouting on it.
Dissent is patriotic. Never forget that.