What. A. Year. 2020 was not by a long shot anything close to what we'd expected, but Team CAN weathered the storm and stuck to our mission of helping artists and good causes, who as it turned out, needed our help more than ever. In the spirit of staying positive and hopeful as we (finally!) round the corner to 2021, we wanted to share some of our silver linings and proud accomplishments from 2020 with you. (We put them in chronological order because we thought at least one thing in this crazy year should make sense.) We hope you enjoy our post and that you and yours have a very safe and happy holiday season and new year! ❤️
1. Believe it or not, we had an actual, live, in person art show earlier this year! Posters for Social Change: Green New Deal Art opened in March 2020, a week before the pandemic shut everything down, and we're so glad we have that party to look back on now! We hung over 100 Green New Deal and vintage WPA Federal Art Project prints in Canessa Gallery in downtown San Francisco (n a century-old brick building that survived the 1906 earthquake) and held a reception during the local art walk where people were invited to see the posters up close. We've curated many of the posters from the show into our new book, Posters For A Green New Deal: 50 Removable Posters To Inspire Change (available online in our store and wherever books are sold), sales of which give back to Sunrise Movement like the rest of our Green New Deal collection. Thanks to the Living New Deal and Canessa Gallery for cohosting the show with us!
2. For National Park Week last April, we introduced a line of See America art-inspired hiking boots with Merrell shoe company! Inspiration for designing each boot was based on posters for three national parks we sell in our shop, Isle Royale National Park, Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, and Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, all designed by independent artists. Like the rest of our See America products, proceeds from the collaboration help support Earthjustice organization, so we were thrilled to learn the boots had completely sold out and that our campaign was a success! Read the See America x Merrell blog post for more details on how it all went down. We're excited to be teaming up with Merrell again in 2021 for spring and winter collections inspired by more See America art!
3. Money for the People is a crowdsourced digital art campaign we launched at the start of the pandemic with support from Economic Security Project, aimed at using art to shine a spotlight on the millions of workers worldwide suffering economically due to the effects of COVID-19. Our goal was to raise awareness of the need for immediate cash relief for the people who need it most and encourage lawmakers to approve stimulus packages ASAP. For the project, artists illustrated the many ways COVID-19 was already impacting our lives and paired their art with hashtag #moneyforthepeople on social media. Read more about Money for the People in our blog post #Moneyforthepeople: Workers, Money & Art in the Time of COVID-19.
4. At the start of 2020, face masks weren't even on our radar! Then the pandemic began, and we decided making masks would be a great way to help where help was needed, so we hustled to find a factory, put out the call to artists for designs and starting selling our first face mask collection by mid July. For every mask we sell, we give a free mask to an essential worker who needs one through our partnership with Coworker.org, and we've given away over 5,000 masks since we launched. Almost six months later, our mask giveback campaign is still going strong and we've added more variety packs and new designs along the way. Shoutout to all the wonderful artists who contributed designs to our face mask campaign, like Brooke Fischer's Spread Compassion (above).
5. Our goal when we launched our face mask campaign was to get as many free masks into the hands of essential workers as possible, and since then we've given away 5,000 free masks, which means that our community has rallied around workers and bought 5,000 masks on our website in less than half a year! We're so grateful to everyone for pitching in, with special thanks to Coworker.org who've been our boots on the ground to help get people their masks. Through their network of organizations that support workers, we've given masks to Freedom To Thrive, We Dream In Black, Healthcare Professionals & Allied Employees Union Local 5058 and more worker organizations. Read more about our mask campaign for essential workers in our blog post, We've Given Away 5,000 Masks (and Counting).
6. 2020 gave people a lot to be fired up about! Iconic feminist socks designed by Maggie Stern Stitches reminded and inspired all of us to stay as strong, determined and hopeful as the women and quotes on the socks themselves. We give a portion of the proceeds from pair of socks we sell to feminist organization UltraViolet and since socks were popular in 2020, we were able to give back more to a good cause! We also added a few more groundbreaking icons like Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton and AOC Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to our sock collection too. Keep an eye out for Stacey Abrams, Joe Biden and a brand new RBG sock to land in our shop in time for Valentine's Day 2021!
7. We more than doubled our warehouse team this year! Thanks to Vanessa, Chris, Sandra, Gabriel and Gaspar, we were able to safely get all our orders out through all the chaos of 2020. We doubled our warehouse space too and it's already bursting so stay tuned for more big moves in 2021! ✌️
8. We published a new book in September! Posters For A Green New Deal: 50 Removable Posters To Inspire Change is a compilation of fifty perforated Green New Deal posters, designed by independent artists all over the world, with sales giving back to Sunrise Movement in the fight against climate change. Print Mag named it the book in its top 30 of the year, and LA Weekly called it "a gorgeous new book, with the aim of furthering awareness, enthusiasm and inspiration". We had a blast working with Workman Publishing to make this book and we're really proud of how it turned out, and we're newly hopeful that with a new administration taking over in January, progressive programs like the Green New Deal have a better chance of happening. The Green New Deal poster book has perforated pages meant to be pulled out and put up to show everyone you know, and you can read all about it in Posters for a Green New Deal: In the News & In the Wild.
9. We did it! We couldn't write a roundup of 2020 without mentioning the outcome of the presidential election and how ready we are for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to start running things already! We've been growing our Vote! collection steadily with some of our most popular vote art sold on eco-friendly hemp buttons and face masks that make a statement, like We Can Do It Vote! and Vote Like Your Rights Depend On It. Our voting-themed merch helps support Headcount.org, a grassroots organization that's registered over a million new voters so far, and we're proud to be helping them out!
That's it for our 2020 roundup, and now we're off for a little holiday break before we tackle 2021. Thanks for reading and be well! ~Team CAN