While their showcases and events have been cancelled for the next two months, independent arts organization RAW Artists Canada is shifting their efforts to fighting the spread of Covid-19. The organization has turned to the creativity of Canadian artists to help produce personal protective equipment for those working in essential services. The mask making initiative, inspired by similar initiatives by RAW’s American branches, is giving artists and makers the opportunity to contribute their skills in meaningful ways.
Within hours of RAW’s appeal sew 100 masks, 250 artists from local communities offered their skills in mask making, while a cascade of volunteers signed up to deliver the masks across their communities. Using a mask design using 100% cotton recommended by the Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto, RAW Artists Canada posted an instructional guide for artists to follow on Facebook to simplify the process.
While hospital staff and medical workers on the front line cannot wear homemade personal protective equipment, RAW has been donating their masks to “those most at risk and in need,” says David Pattee, director of curation. Those most in need comprise of homeless shelters, crisis shelters, retirement homes, and long-term care facilities across Canada—including the Mustard Seed Shelter in Edmonton, which will receive 645 masks this week.
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