How essential is an artist?

Art, you’ve noticed, has been idle.

The artist, in pandemic Chicago, has been stripped of stages, classrooms, materials. Many, who were already working two or three jobs for supplemental income, were stripped of second and third jobs. Some, seeing little light at the end of the COVID tunnel, have probably given up already.

Even a starving artist can last only so long.

And yet, remarkable as it may be seem in 2020, there was a moment, about a decade long, when this country and its White House, eager to get Americans to work, considered its artists essential.

You live everyday with that legacy.

Consider the South Side Community Art Center, an 80-year old institution in a 130-year old Classical Revival house. It rests in an unassuming lot on book profits South Michigan Avenue. It is tall and austere, warm and a bit removed from its

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COLUMBIA, SC—There’s a family making lemonade from lemons. Their lemons come in the form of idle time and their lemonade is beautiful paintings. Many of the paintings have been donated to front line professionals such as nurses, doctors, and community health workers. The rest are being sold on Etsy or, as one of the kids said, “I fall in love with many of my artworks, but realize they can bring others happiness too!”

Back in March, Mathew Morgan and Julie Smithwick, parents to Cullen, Bella, Norah, and Elias, ages 11 to 16, were forecasting what weeks of sheltering at home would look like for their family and wanted to develop a positive and safe activity balancing the fear and uncertainty permeating on newsfeeds. What came next was the evolution of a collaborative venture and the birth of a business.

TribePours is the official name of this happenstance art business surfacing

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