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Pen & Ink Brigade Kidlit Art Auction: STAND UP! Going on NOW to Benefit Emily’s List

Ready…set…

Yes, it’s time to GO!

Where, you ask?

To the Pen and Ink Brigade’s STAND UP Art Auction! Going on NOW!

But first, author-illustrator Carin Berger is here to tell us a little about it. Carin, what is the Pen and Ink Brigade and how did you get started?

The Pen and Ink Brigade is a group of women artists/activists who have joined forces to use our art to create progressive change. Many of us are well known picture book creators and illustrators.

The 2016 election really galvanized us. We gave ourselves the name, the Pen and Ink Brigade, and marched together in the women’s march. We began to realize that, collectively, we had a vast pool of talent and shared political beliefs. And, kind of on the fly, we organized a fundraiser, the BLUE WAVE project, which was an art show and an art sale that benefitted a get out the vote [GOTV] group, VoteRiders just in time for the 2018 midterm elections. Somehow, in a matter of weeks, we pulled the project together. Each artist created a blue wave, which, when they were put together, made a great blue tsunami.  We held the show at the Diana Kane Boutique in Brooklyn, and managed to sell all the art. It was empowering and exhilarating. And we haven’t stopped!

Wow! What project did you tackle next?

After the BLUE WAVE project the women of the Pen and Ink Brigade worked together on a number of projects. We created a mural proposal for AOC’s office in Jackson Heights, NYC. We made a backdrop for a fundraising event, Persisticon, and we put together a bi-coastal art show, PINK NYC + PINK SF, with 80 artists, all women, who created work that reclaimed and re-defined the color pink. We raised over $20,000 for Stacey Abrams’s voting rights initiative, FAIR FIGHT ACTION, to help ensure people’s right to vote in the upcoming 2020 election. It was super inspiring to see the art come in, and for the color PINK to be reclaimed as something fierce and provocative and powerful.

What is this week’s STAND UP! Auction all about?

And now, in time for November, we have yet another project. STAND UP! is a fundraising auction. 100% of the proceeds will go to EMILY’s List to help diverse, progressive women candidates get elected. We came to this theme after watching people bravely working together to confront the many difficult challenges that we are facing as a country right now. The pandemic, the importance of BLM, the economic hardship so many of us are experiencing, the inequities that affect schooling and health for people. Climate change. These are tough times. But it has been heartening to see our communities coming together and standing up for what is right. We structure the call for entries to be flexible and open ended, allowing each artist to create a piece that addresses a specific issue that the artist was standing up for.

Please tell us what your piece for the auction is about!

My piece is titled STAND UP for ALL OF US!

I was thinking about what our country and world needs to move forward, and on that list was diversity, inclusion, connection and community. That is my hope for this moment, that broadly, we will find a way to STAND UP and join forces and find the beauty in the wild diversity that we each offer, but also that deep need for connection that we all have.

These ideas also thread through many of my books like The Little Yellow Leaf and Forever Friends. And explicitly in All of Us, which I wrote in response to the 2016 election. I deeply believe in the power of love and community, and in these dark divisive times, I have been heartened by the way people have come together to STAND UP!

The STAND UP! Auction is going on today through August 28th! See all the artwork available at penandinkbrigade.com/standup.

Also, you can tune into an interview with author-illustrator LeUyen Pham tonight on Instagram Live:

Source: Writing Competition

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