Artists' Resource Mobilization, or ARM , has materialized to address needs during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. We are trying to raise $10,000 to purchase high quality materials for supplemental PPEs (masks, gowns, etc...) for people in need while putting highly skilled artists back to work!
ARM will now be working under The Apparel Industry Foundation, Inc. (AIFI) a 501©3, which is the philanthropic arm of the Apparel Industry Board, Inc. It supports the Chicago fashion, apparel and sewn products industry through mentoring programs, scholarships, educational seminars, technical training and the retention and creation of jobs. The Foundation has assisted in establishing more than 300 apparel and sewn products companies in Chicago, helped to place hundreds of people in manufacturing jobs, and reached thousands of people to date through its mentoring and educational seminars. It annually awards college-specific scholarships for the study of fashion design.
Amidst the chaos of the Covid-19 pandemic, our community is particularly fragile, without the ability to gather, live entertainment is devastated by this crisis. Not only has our community seen immediate layoffs and unemployment on an unprecedented scale (like other businesses), but the very future of our livelihoods appears forever compromised. The vast majority of theatre personnel in Chicago are freelancers, independent contractors, and part time employees. This community possesses an amazingly wide array of skill sets that are typically beholden to the ebbs and flows of production cycles but have the potential to transcend theatrical production.
Varied pleas for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have flooded the news and our social media streams over the past few weeks. Theatre technicians have broad talents and skills and have always been committed to serving our community’s civic and arts engagement. As such ARM believes our Chicago community is uniquely positioned, available, and anxious to be put to work fabricating and distributing high quality face masks and potentially other products that will be vital to ‘flattening the curve’.
Step 1 is purchasing high quality materials. Our goal of $10,000 will allow us to buy materials for almost 5,000 fitted masks with .6 micron filter fabric that is not as good as the N95s but has the chance to be better than cotton alone. We are still finalizing what needs we are filling and exactly what we are purchasing so this is just an example of the types of materials we will be purchasing. We have already produced 1500 garments that are in use by medical professionals and the general public. We are developing specialty items in collaboration with facilities that serve children with autism. We are partnering with numerous other organizations around the country to magnify our efforts to serve artists and public health.
ARM believes we can mobilize potentially hundreds of fabricators and distributors and could scale up operations into the thousands. While ARM’s initial intent is to serve immediate need caused from medical supply shortages widely publicized, ARM believes our organizational principles and mission will outlast the current crisis and eventually serve as a national template for connecting specific theatre personnel; artists, crafters, technicians, costumers, carpenters, electricians, etc, with vital solutions in crisis situations.
Please see our website for how to join our effort or for more information about our long term goals: www.artistsresourcemobilization.org
Thank you and wash your hands!