Friday, April 3, 2020

COVID #1 of 15 April 2020 -- SNB open for online mail-order only, April 17th annoucement, No SDCC this year

Updated 5.25.2020

There are 15 Covid themed posts on the blog for April 2020. See the side bar for topics such as Funding sources (federal and local) for indie artists, Science-based links for current Covid info, Online sources for artists, family-friendly activities, self-care and home office tips and skills.  My posts always follow the "SIFT before sharing" protocols -- See post #2 of 15 for more on those guidelines. While all the info here was current as of 5.1.20 and I do update periodically, there will be more current info online going forward. The links here are all good starting points to find credible, current info.  

Stay safe. Be well.
Info graphics from WHO

info graphic below from Global Digital Citizen Foundation:

Update 4.17.20 -- No San Diego Comic Con, no WonderCon for 2020

Here are links for all the articles shared by artists:

This official announcement from SDCC organizers also confirms no WonderCon for 2020.

Additional coverage of the announcement.

Stuart Ng Books website and online operations are OPEN.

Stuart welcomes your online book orders. The SNB website is open 24/7.
2 photos below are of Stuart in France, 2017.
Stuart with long-time SNB pal, Artist Pierre Alary. 

The SNB Torrance brick and mortar location is temporarily closed to the public, in compliance with 3.19.2020 "Safer at Home" order impacting all of  California.

More "Safer at Home" guidelines here:

Due to conditions in California, shipping is subject to delays.

Many of SNB's artist clients are working at home now, depending on mail order for supplies and resources.

If you "like" and share art posts online -- please support and buy directly from those artists. The loss of convention and art fair income means online stores more important than ever.

Your paid mail orders to small businesses help sustain them at this challenging time. Small business are pivoting their operations -- finding ways to work at home and use delivery options. 

The SNB website is available 24/7.
Multiple sources confirm Mail order shipments are safe. Here is a link with text and videos.
Stuart and his staff are using recommended disinfecting practices.
This link to Today Show segment has excellent tips on disinfecting home and office areas:

3.23.30 Today Show Segment "Can You Contract Coronavirus from Delivery Packages?"
Link has video and text with tips for handling mail. Plus a big "thank you" to all the heroes at shipping centers getting essential items to homes

You can order with confidence from Stuart Ng Books.

Art is life. All the online art images... the and other art posts shared and streaming at this time confirms this fact: We value art and artists. Especially when we need to be nurtured. 
How we heal others defines us as a culture and as individuals.
(see the Margaret Mead story at the end of this post:

SNB is just one of many small businesses that are being challenged by the virus. We will get through this together. Shop online. Shop small. Support indie artists.

Cartoon below by Mau Miranda Tutusaus

A neighbor shared this poem with me. He didn't know the author. My online searches so far suggest it may be by Italian novelist Francesca Melandri. She is the author of the "Letter to the UK from Italy" that is similar in tone and style.
If anyone finds direct attribution for this poem, please LMK. Here is the poem:

“We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another.
Suddenly Disney is out of magic,
Paris is no longer romantic,
New York doesn't stand up anymore,
the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress, and Mecca is empty.
Hugs & kisses suddenly become weapons, and not visiting parents & friends becomes an act of love.
Suddenly you realise that power, beauty & money are worthless, and can't get you the oxygen you're fighting for.
The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think it's sending us a message:
"You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters."

For April 2020, I have updated all the COVID posts here on the blog. Check out all 15 posts on the side bar. You'll find resources, links, tutorials and more to help you.

Please note the links on my posts are for general information purposes only and my comments/summaries are not tax/business/legal/medical advice. Please consult your own resources for advice that best suits your individual situation.

COVID #2 of 15 April 2020 -- SIFT before sharing

Updated 4.3.2020

This post updates information from the #2 of 8 posts in March 2020...  SIFT system.

Please note the links are for general information purposes only and my comments/summaries are not tax/business/legal/medical advice. Please consult your own resources for advice that best suits your individual situation.

Putting this essential reminder here in its own post.

Always SIFT through online info...

Fact check/find corroborating stories from credible sources.
Trace claims, quotes and media to its original context.

The flurry of memes and mis-information is not helpful.

Check before you post.
Is what you're sharing from a credible, original source?
Does it pass the fact-check test?
If not, investigate. Be curious. Be a critical consumer of online content.
(photo below from Google Images)

We need to raise expectations now more than ever. The internet has great potential to educate.  Don't let it be used to bully or abuse. Don't facilitate the spread of rumors.

Fact check/find corroborating stories from credible sources.
Trace claims,  quotes and media to its original context.

SIFT before you share.

This link is where I first read about the SIFT system method coined by Washington State University digital literacy expert Mike Caulfield

Top places to find credible info:
World Health Organization (WHO)
videos on COVID-19

your local/State Department of Public Health. Here's link for California:

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)


WHO link for MYTHBUSTING regarding COVID-19

The week of 3.16.20, there was a flurry of posts about animals swimming in the clearer waters of the Venice Canals. These were popular posts and frequently shared. Sadly, these were fakes. This fascinating article from National Geographic not only debunks these stories, but unravels the emotional appeal of postings that go viral. People don't mean to lie and mislead, but as the "likes" pile up, they don't want to edit or delete either..

Credible news sites are reporting stories on all the ways the internet is being used to proliferate rumors and hoaxes related to the virus:

Fighting the false information online -- I'll be adding links here...
One thing everyone agreed on: You have a responsibility to help correct bad information. "When the misinformation can literally damage people's health, I do think we all have a responsibility," Silverman noted. "You don't want people to be doing things that are bad for them or bad for society," added Rand.
And Vraga acknowledged it is not always easy to correct close family or friends. "These are relationships we care about, people whose good opinion we want to maintain and carry forward," Vraga said. But she said, "It's a way of looking out for each other, and it can be uncomfortable in the moment, but hopefully in the long-run it's doing more good than harm."

SIFT case study 
This chart is an interesting SIFT case study. It was shared on Facebook

I traced the chart to a website page for Channel 11 TV in Georgia.

The TV Channel's website page has this chart along with text that gives a hyperlink to CDC. That CDC hyperlink goes to an informative PDF, but the chart doesn't appear there.

 In the upper right hand corner of the chart, the fine print is "Source: Mayo Clinic," but I don't see this chart on the Mayo Clinic COVID page.

The bottom left of the chart has this credit line 
With allergy season approaching, we want to make sure you're aware of the differences in symptoms between them, Coronavirus and the Flu.

which can be seen on the TV Channel's website page with text and chart, but this credit line doesn't transfer when just the image is saved. Tegna is a media company connected with many television stations.

So where does this chart really come from? and where does it fit on the SIFT system??? 

Some might assume the chart came directly from the Mayo Clinic and/or CDC.
My investigation of this image suggests to me it was put together by staff at the Tegna Media company using info from one or both of Mayo Clinic and CDC sites. I don't know for sure. This is my guess.

It seems reasonable that Media companies and TV stations would be producing graphics like this that are posted as a public service. You would hope public service info like this is also thoroughly fact checked by a staff member at the company.

Is this chart reliable?

Likely -- but since I can't click on a link that takes me directly to this chart on a page for the CDC or Mayo Clinic sites, that indicates to me there is a layer of information assembly one step away from the credible, original source(s). I'm not saying the chart is wrong... I'm just saying for me, I would have more confidence in it and posts like these when they trace back to an original, scientific source. 

Not every post has to be SIFTed to source material. I'm using this an an example. Getting back to the credible, original source is how to connect with information that I personally can have the most confidence in. Do I always get it right? No. But this is an example of how I investigate before I share.

COVID #3 of 15 April 2020 -- Funding resources, Federal

Updated 4.20.2020

This post updates information from the #3 of 8 posts in March 2020...  Links for funding, federal options

(images below were posted by an artist friend. Regret I don't have link for source)

Please note the links on my blog are for general information purposes only and my comments/summaries are not tax/business/legal/medical advice. Always consult with your own professionals for guidance that best suits your needs. Be an educated client -- do your homework and bring good questions.

I try to post the most recent info with links to credible sources. Use the info I share as talking points with your own business resources — tax planner, small business attorney, family lawyer etc. This COVID-19 crisis is a reminder to have your "in case of emergency" documents in order. Everyone over 18 should have an Advanced Health Care Directive. If you have any sort of assets (bank accounts, art, collections etc) you need to have an "estate plan." And don't forget your pets! Be sure there are documents and funds in place to assign their care to someone else if you are incapacitated. In case of emergency/end of life documents aren't only for the wealthy. They are a lifeline for yourself and guide map with resources for your loved ones.

If you don’t have business resources yet, start doing some research — online or with colleagues— to find ones that might be a good fit for you. The money you save getting things done right the first time is an investment in your future earnings and mental health.  There are cost effective options through local SBA (Small Business Administration) offices. You can negotiate a payment plan with personal/business law firms. Some legal documents are available online, but having a professional draft your personal/business legal documents provides benefits. This gives the agents you assign to handle your affairs a contact to help with questions if you're not available.

Check this blog post for credible sources for COVID-19 info

UPDATE 4.20.20
Small Business grant resource via US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. For small businesses located in US, employing between 3 and 20 people.

UPDATE 4.11.20
This page on the Graphic Artists Guild website has extensive list of federal resources, pull down menus about programs, and programs available by individual states. It also lists banks that are lending and has contacts for grants and financial assistance.

Business for All  -- Grants program



Flow chart for how Indie artists/Independent contractors can apply for and receive government aid.

additional flow chart from Comic Book Legal Defense Fund

More info here:
Quote: "For example, Section 2102 allows (indie contractors) workers to submit a “self-certification” that they are unable to work due to the coronavirus outbreak. As written, the bill provides no language specifying the necessary conditions of a valid self-certification, nor the oversight to ensure consistency and compliance. As claims rise in response to the virus, unemployment offices will be unable to process such an increased volume of claims. Administratively, the self-certification reduces the time between unemployment claim and benefit disbursement"

Link for SBA application for Disaster Loan Assistance. If your small business qualifies, this can be a grant up to $10K that you do not need to re-pay.  This Disaster Loan Assistance link also available for private non-profits, homeowners and renters. 

Link for online article with tips for artists who have an LLC, S Corp etc may qualify for federal aid under the CARE Act for small business.

quote from article:
"In order to remove as much red tape as possible and speed up the funding process, the stimulus bill has outlined the following requirements you must meet:
  • In business before Feb. 15, 2020.
  • Employ less than 500 employees.
  • Have been impacted by the coronavirus.
While the amount of proof and paperwork required will be crystalized in the days ahead, West and Hartsock agree there is a presumption that if you are applying, you have been impacted. Even so, you will have to sign an affidavit acknowledging you need these funds as a result of the coronavirus."

UPDATED 3.22.2020
I'm not a tax expert (I use an accountant) but this is the update from the IRS ...

Text from IRS Website

"IR-2020-58, March 21, 2020
WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.
Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.
Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on Businesses who need additional time must file Form 7004.
The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days."
Also there is this message with link 
The IRS will continue to monitor issues related to the COVID-19 virus, and updated information will be posted on a special coronavirus page on

"Real ID" deadline extended to Oct 2021

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)
Best to check online for most recent stories on this new law. I'll post summaries here:

'Summary of amendments" National Review article by Lira A. Johnson

"Paid Sick Leave -- who gets it during the coronavirus outbreak" Washington post article by Heather
Long. 3.17.2020

COVID #4 of 15 April 2020 -- Links for funding resources, Indie artists/entertainment industry

Updated 4.21.2020

This post updates information from the #3 of 8 posts in March 2020...  Links for funding.

Please note the links are for general information purposes only and my comments/summaries are not tax/business/legal/medical advice. Please consult your own resources for advice that best suits your individual situation.

Art by Dawn Maciocia

This crisis has proved this fact: We value art and artists. All the art, music, dance posts and streaming being shared proves we turn to art when we need to be nurtured. How we heal each other defines us as individuals and a culture. This is the Renaissance for appreciation of artists, scientists, grocery store clerks and cashiers, delivery drivers, highway rest stop staff, and all the newly-drafted "first responders" in aprons, smocks, gloves, goggles and masks. They've joined the ranks of our traditional Essential Emergency services. We'll get through this together -- now is the time to be kind and practice those hard human virtues. Love each other.

UPDATE 4.21.20
LA Times article on Sundance Institute $1 million fund
Quote: One-third of the fund will go to the approximately 100 participants in the 2020 spring and summer Sundance labs. One-third of the grants will be open to artists across the U.S. in partnership with the new cross-disciplinary, need-based fund Artist Relief. The final third of the money will support U.S. and international independent artist organizations.

UPDATE 4.12.20
List of Funding sources shared on 'The Complete Creative" website"

Book Industry Charitable Foundation

From Counsel for Creators Legal Services (a California law firm for Small Business and Indie artists/creators)

This link will take you to an extensive list of resources
I have been a client of this service for many years and highly recommend them.

This 3 mins video will walk you through some of the services you can access as a member

As a service to small businesses in CA, the firm has made this link available to the public.
 It shows their appx 1 hour long 4/1/20 weekly online QandA session, covering funding options for indie artists and small business owners.

Text below and link above from the Counsel for Creators Facebook page:

"We know times are tough right now and that it's become more challenging for small businesses to stay afloat. But did you know that there are two SBA-backed loans that are available now to provide financial relief?
Our partners Jon Tobin and Chuong Bui did a Q and A session yesterday to go over those options.
Since the information is so important we're making the replay video available to the public (replays are normally reserved only for Creators' Legal Program subscribers).
Check it and pass it on to any friends/colleagues/family who are self-employed or run a business."

More on the Counsel for Creators subscription service here:


Posted by "Marea Baja Designs" an artist w/ indie business who is using this program:
The Small Business Relief Initiative was started by GoFundMe to help small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and empower their communities to rally behind them. The fund will issue $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.

If you are an indie artist w/ a small business, you can start a Go Fund Me page under this program and be elibiblge for matching funds. See Go Fund Me page for details

Text below is from Go Fund Me link above. :
Help Small Businesses Affected by Coronavirus
The GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative is intended to support our local businesses facing financial loss. Make a difference today by donating or starting a fundraiser.
Are you a small business owner? Search and claim your fundraiser. Start a fundraiser if you can’t find a GoFundMe for your business. Small businesses may also apply for a matching grant from the Small Business Relief Fund.

UPDATE 4.14.20 -- this section is from Graphic Artist Guild
National Grants

The Artists’ Fellowship, Inc.
is a 501 (c) 3 charitable foundation that financially assists professional visual artists and their families in times of emergency, disability or bereavement. Assistance is given without expectation of repayment. One does not need to be a member of the Fellowship to receive assistance nor does membership in the Artists’ Fellowship entitle one to assistance from the foundation. Learn more.

Arts and Culture Leaders of Color Emergency Fund: 
For those who self-identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) pursuing careers as artists or arts administrators whose income has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Apply here.
Business for All:
Apply for grants up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 Business for All Grants to help small businesses in crisis. Learn more.

Read the grant requirements carefully. Refresh and check our COVID Resources page often. We’ll work to keep this list updated on our website as more more grants come online, or as grants spend down their funding. This list is updated as of 4/13/20.

CERF+ Artists Safety Net COVID Relief: 
CERF+ serves artists who work in craft disciplines by providing a safety net to support strong and sustainable careers. Their COVID-19 relief aid is being provided to those who require intensive medical care. Learn more.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant:
Grants between $200 and $2500 for visual and performing artists. Applications reviewed monthly. Learn more.
GoFundMe is partnering with Yelp to fund the Small Business Relief Initiative supports those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Initiative will provide fundraising tools and grants to help during the crisis.
Learn more.

(Graphic Artists Guild has) also posted links to state and local grants.  Visit the State-by-State section of (their)  COVID Resources page, and click onto your state to see what grants and resources are available. Note that if your state doesn’t list any grants, check back. (GAG is) adding information as it becomes available. 

Healthwell Foundation COVID-19 Fund: 
Maximum award level of $250 to help cover costs related to delivered food, medication, diagnostics, transportation and telehealth as a result of COVID-19 risk or incidence. Applicants must earn 500% of the Federal Poverty Level (adjusted for household size and high cost of living areas). Telephone applications only. Learn more.  

NALAC COVID-19 Relief Efforts:
The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) recognizes the compounding impact that the COVID-19 public health pandemic is having on our communities and artistic field. In this moment of uncertainty, we return to the importance of confianza – the act of mutual trust and support to carve a way forward.
Deadline April 16th.
Learn more.

Rauschenberg Emergency Grants:
The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) have partnered to administer a new emergency grant program to provide one-time grants of up to $5,000 for unexpected medical emergencies. The grants are available to visual and media artists and choreographers who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents in the United States, District of Columbia, or U.S. Territories. Learn more.

Red Backpack Fund:
1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Monthly deadlines. Sign up for notification of the next opening. Learn more.

Post resumes here....

UPDATE 4.5.20 -- 2 LA Times links
LA Times story
"Here's how one L.A. business owner is nagivating government help for the corona virus," by Michael Hiltzik, 4.3.20

quote: "There’s no question that the government has thrown businesses like Holter’s a lifeline. But he points out that they need a lifeline because the U.S. government has forsaken its responsibilities to Americans and placed them on the private sector’s shoulders. 

“All this stuff is supposed to be done by the private sector — healthcare, pensions, getting face masks and ventilators — I’m dealing with life and death issues for my employees, and that’s what’s going on all over the country, rather than having a system that’s more rational and more cost-effective. I’d like people to actually learn something from this. It’s unfair for employees and employers.”

LA Times article 
"How freelancers can get unemployment pay for work lost to corona virus" by Kathy Kristof, 4.3.20
This article is a Q and A format with questions from the trenches of self-employed trying to apply for benefits.

From "Freelance Artists Source" on WordPress. This has general resources, advocacy for freelancers, and national relief funds and grants

The Creator Fund from ConvertKit

Move Humanity Forward Coronavirus Relief Fund
From the Humanity Forward Facebook page:
The Humanity Forward Coronavirus Relief Fund will distribute at least $1 million to those most in need during this time of crisis. Visit for more details. #YesWeCare #MoneyForThePeople
Video from Andrew Yang on the Facebook page discusses info on the fund and offers like "micro-loans from $250-$500"

campaign to add Displaced Entertainment workers to Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)
There is an online Petition to include displaced entertainment workers in this federal relief package
My comment on this:
"Oh heck yes!! Indie artists are major contributors to all the “free” image sharing that fuels social media. Only those images aren’t free, the are the time, talent and expense (have you ever priced art supplies???) of artists. Not to mention the content uploaded by dancers, musicians etc."
Link for info on the (IATSE sponsored) petition:

Variety article on Entertainment Industry Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund

LA Times article w/ list of industry resources

Los Angeles TV station story w/ list of companies hiring in SoCal

#PAYUPHOLLYWOOD Go Fund Me site for industry assistants
LA Times article by Anousha Sakoui 3.19.2020
Quote: "The three women who have been spearheading the movement known as #PayUpHollywood — Liz Alper, Jamarah Hayner and Deirdre Mangan — along with a group of leading TV writers and others, created a GoFundMe site to raise money for assistants who face lost work as productions shut down."
Link for the Go Fund Me site:

Graphics below posted by indie comic book retail store "Geoffrey's Comics" illustrate ways to pivot your business model. Find ways to still deliver service your clients want from you.

Some articles with background on funding efforts

Tips on how some grass roots funding got started, and how to give safely to online campaigns

Institutions across the country are answering the call for support

United Kingdom Resource