Senator Ferlo’s Eco Art PGH Event: November 13th!

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Join our friends at the Office of State Senator Jim Ferlo for Eco Art PGH: Visions of a Sustainable Pittsburgh. The event will include live music by Tracksploitation, Devin Moses and the Saved, and Gene Stovall, and complimentary beer/wine and light refreshments.  The event is centered around a contest which will feature art reflecting the theme of a futuristic, sustainable Pittsburgh.

Date: Thurs. November 13th 2014
Time: 7-10pm
Cost: $15 – buy tickets here

Learn more at Facebook. Proceeds benefit Pittsburgh Green Innovators and the Larimer Green Team.

Free Film Screening of ‘The Healthcare Movie’ in PGH – 10/28

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Join our friends at the Western PA Coalition for Single-Payer Healthcare for movie night. They’ll be screening The Healthcare Movie, a 65-minute documentary that tells the story of how the health care systems in Canada and the United States evolved to be so completely different, when at one point they were essentially the same. The film also boasts narration by Kiefer Sutherland. A discussion will follow the film.

WHEN: 7pm on Tuesday, Oct 28 2014

WHERE: Sixth Presbyterian Church, corner of Forbes and Murray Aves., Pittsburgh 15217 (Squirrel Hill)

Hope to see you there!

Spectacular Art Show! – TONIGHT 09/12 at the FORMER QUIET STORM

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Art Show Opening Night:
Friday September 12, 2014 6pm-10pm
Most Wanted Fine Art Pop Up
5430 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
(FORMER QUIET STORM)
Exhibit Opening and Custom Sunglass Auction
Live Music and Free handcrafted locally brewed beer
provided by RockBottom Brewery (while supplies for 21+ with valid ID)

RSVP and learn more about the art show on Facebook!

#ArtisticVisionPGH:  SPECTACULAR ART SHOW

ABOUT:  Penn Avenue Eyewear and Most Wanted Fine Art Gallery are teaming up to support the eye health of local artists by bringing you #ArtisticVisionPGH , a collection of art and sunglasses made by local artists in trade for glasses.

The exhibit will highlight the works of 32 established artists and include 15 pairs of hand customized artistic wooden sunglass frames. The frames will only be available through silent auction on Sept 12, 2014. All sales benefit the charities “Healthy Artists” and “Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation”.  All the participating artists have been provided either a pair of prescription glasses or sunglasses.

The opening night event is hosted by comedian Davon Magwood with musical performances by female hip hop artist Holly Hood, classic songstress Anqwenique Wingfield, and Ricardo Iamurri who will be presenting, Mars is Underwater – a silent film he directed with a live score performance.

Artists in the Show Include: Joe Wos, Gabriel Felice, Matt Gondek, Darrell Kinsel, Sam Thorp, Njaimeh Njie, Brian Cottington, Jason Sauer, Nina Sauer, Lauren Toohey, Sue Kerr, Nick Noir, Kai Devenitch , Richard Jackley, Dale Capellanio, Nicole Conniff, Heather Froman, Zena Ruiz, Donald Toomer, Danielle Robinson, and more!

ALSO:  Buy a pair of glasses online at Penn Ave Eyewear and they’ll donate 10% of the total to Healthy Artists and 10% to Most Wanted Fine Art!  Use this code at checkout:  HEALTHY10

Healthy Selfies

We had a great time yesterday at the Take Good Care Fest in Pittsburgh’s North Side. We asked everyone to draw us healthy selfies. “Draw us a picture of yourself when you are healthy, happy, and strong,” we said. The results were awesome!

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Join Us for the Take Good Care Fest this Saturday!

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Join us this Saturday, July 12th 2014 for the Take Good Care Fest in Pittsburgh’s Northside!  We’ll be selling some limited edition 11 by 17 Healthy Artists posters. We’ll also have a table of activities for adults and kids alike, so stop by!  Learn more and RSVP at Facebook.

3 – 6pm:  In West Park by the National Aviary:  Family friendly hands on crafts from local arts organizations, live painting, affordable refreshments, live music.

5 – 6pm:  Interactive health and leisure stroll along the North Shore Trail to Manchester.

6 – 9pm:  Join us at Bicycle Heaven.  There will be food trucks, a beer garden, local artisans vending, raffle prizes, bike decorating, music, and dancing throughout the museum and its outdoor areas. $10 entry fee.

All proceeds go to benefit the Pleasant Valley Men’s Shelter and the Northside Food Bank.  Event by Northside Common Ministries, an Affiliate of Goodwill of Southwestern PA.

MERGE Musician and Pittsburgh Hero Needs Our Help

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Karl Hendricks is a hero and icon of Pittsburgh’s music/literary/arts scene.  Maybe you’ve heard him play with his band The Karl Hendricks Trio, signed to MERGE,  had a writing workshop with him at the University of Pittsburgh, or stopped by his record store Sound Cat.  He’s also a father of two and one of the kindest dudes in rock ‘n’ roll you’ll ever meet.  Consider making a donation to help him with the financial burden of oral cancer.

From the Technology Tell article by Joe Paone:

Like most indie rock musicians, Karl doesn’t have much to show financially for all of his great work. It’s always been pretty obvious that he hasn’t continued playing music all of these years for the money. He’s an artist to the core. He can’t help himself.

Karl’s friends are trying to raise money for his continued treatment. The great Jon Solomon of WPRB and Comedy Minus One Records is spearheading the effort, which has a GiveForward page set up for donations. Not only can you donate there, but you can also find information about some benefits that will be held on Karl’s behalf in Pittsburgh and Columbus.

If you’ve got a few extra bucks lying around and would like to help a true artist and a great person who’s in need of support during a difficult time, please give generously. For all the pleasure and enjoyment he’s given so many over the years, now’s a good time to give back to the man himself.

 

The Affordable Care Act has changed the landscape for artists documented by the Healthy Artists project.

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Article by Bill O’Driscoll published June 18th 2014 in the Pittsburgh City Paper

Between Oct. 1 and April 30, according to federal statistics, about 318,000 Pennsylvanians acquired private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Among them was Gabe Felice, one of the artists profiled by Julie Sokolow in her online video series Healthy Artists.

By spotlighting low-income artists, the series addressed the wider struggle for health-care reform in the U.S., the only developed nation without universal health coverage. At the time his segment was taped, Felice was thousands of dollars in debt after a bar fight landed him in the emergency room. (He says two guys jumped him.) The painter, then 32, hadn’t had health insurance since 1999.

But after Sokolow told him about the ACA, Felice signed up. Today, he says, “I have an insurance plan that’s a reasonable rate, which is nice.” While he still owes about $2,000 for the ER visit (“That’s probably gonna haunt me for a while”), he did avail himself of the free annual checkup the ACA provides for.

The ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare, is the biggest change in the health-care landscape since Sokolow launched Healthy Artists, in 2012. Sokolow, a musician and filmmaker, documented about 40 local painters, musicians and poets facing medical debt. She wanted to show how debt and health worries keep self-employed and underemployed people from realizing their creative potential and fully contributing to society.

The project, backed by the nonprofit Health Care 4 All PA, also aided the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, an advocacy group that promotes the ACA. “We’ve shared their [Healthy Artists] stories to keep generating awareness,” says PHAN‘s Erin Ninehouser. Healthy Artists inspired filmmaker Michael Moore to invite Sokolow to blog on his web site. And this past February, The New York Times ran an article about the Healthy Artists poster exhibition at ModernFormations Gallery.

While that exhibit and article capped phase one of Healthy Artists, Sokolow continues pursuing the bigger goal of single-payer health care. Meanwhile, despite its infamously botched rollout last fall, the ACA’s online health-insurance marketplace has been a balm for local artists, including Felice.

Take Daniel McCloskey, the comics artist who runs the Lawrenceville-based Cyberpunk Apocalypse writers’ project. After a face-plant bicycle accident last fall cost McCloskey three teeth, and left him with large unpaid hospital bills, Sokolow wrote about the uninsured artist on Moore’s website. The attention helped McCloskey, 27, exceed the Kickstarter goal for his latest comics project and pay down the bills.

Financially, McCloskey says, he caught a break when Allegheny General Hospital noted his low income and waived his non-dental bill: The price of one night in the hospital had exceeded his annual income of well under $20,000. McCloskey also patronized a reduced-cost AGH dental program staffed by oral-sugery trainees. (His titanium screws are in, the new teeth to come.) Had McCloskey been stuck with full-freight bills, he says, he could have lost his house, where he’s hosted residencies for some 40 writers and comics artists, and countless readings and other literary events.

Unfortunately, McCloskey didn’t acquire health insurance until after his accident. Having it now “makes me feel more secure,” he says. With ACA subsidies, he pays just $26 on a monthly premium of $160. “I don’t know that I would have been able to have insurance at all without subsidies,” he says.

In Pennsylvania, 30 percent of those who’ve signed up for private health insurance under the ACA were between 18 and 34 — the age of many artists struggling to launch their careers. But some Healthy Artists profile subjects are coping in other ways. Laurie Trok‘s main health issue is an autoimmune disease that had always ruled out affordable insurance. But while the ACA prohibits discrimination on the basis of pre-existing conditions, Trok, whose skills including jewelry-making and papercut art, hasn’t signed up. Instead, she says, she visits the East End Community Health Center, which charges on a sliding scale.

Trok, 31, wants health insurance; trouble is, she doesn’t know exactly what her income is. That’s a common problem for all sorts of freelancers, whose income typically derives from multiple sources and can vary wildly year to year.

Such coverage gaps — as with folks who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to afford private insurance — are why for Sokolow, the ACA is merely “a step in the right direction.” She backs universal, single-payer coverage, a la Canada.

That seems a long way off in the U.S. But Sokolow notes that Vermont has its own single-payer plan, set to take effect in 2017. In February, she blogged for Salon about Jon Stewart’s advocacy for single-payer, and she believes a lot of millennials favor single-payer, too.

Sokolow has also expanded her focus beyond artists. In May, her video about a UPMC employee who fasted to protest the low wages paid by the health-care giant was featured on the Huffington Post. And she’s allied with activist groups like Make It Our UPMC and Fight Back Pittsburgh.

“Health care,” she says, “is a human right. No one should be left behind.”


Images above from the Healthy Artists poster competition, held earlier this year at ModernFormations Gallery. Clockwise from upper left: Art by Doug Dean; David Bernabo; Andy Scott; Jasen Lex; Lizzee Solomon; Jenn Gooch; Seth Clark; Jim Rugg; Mundania Horvath; and Stephanie Armbruster