This fundraising exhibit aims to help frontliners and artists affected by lockdown

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 02 2020 12:50 PM | Updated as of Apr 02 2020 12:55 PM

MANILA -- If you like collecting art, you may want to check out this fundraising exhibit. 

Called "Raising Green," the exhibit aims to raise funds for medical frontliners as well as artists who have been affected by the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

Artworks are made available for sale on the Raising Green Facebook page, and those interested can send a message on the contact details provided. 

Payments are coursed through PayPal, with the artworks to be delivered once the quarantine has been lifted.

 

Visual artist Lena Cobangbang and fellow collector Migs Camacho are among the minds behind the Raising Green initiative. The two previously worked together for an alumni fundraiser that benefitted the adult night school of La Salle Green Hills.

"Migs Camacho, VJ Vergel De Dios, and their 1994 high school batchmates in La Salle Green Hills set up an alumni fundraiser for the adult night school program of LSGH. That program has been ongoing for 41 years already, helping a lot of indigent and [giving] working students better opportunities. For that fundraiser, we have set up a pop-up art exhibit in Dulo MNL in Poblacion, Makati, enjoining a hundred plus artists to participate," Cobangbang said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

"An FB [page] has been set up already to document this fundraiser," she went on. "We've thought of organising another one that addresses the immediate needs of our medical frontliners and artists who have also been locked out of income during this quarantine period due to canceled shows."

According to Cobangbang, half of the proceeds from the fundraising exhibit will be used to buy personal protective equipment (PPEs) and masks, while the remaining half will be donated to an artists' welfare fund which will be shared among those who have donated their works to the initiative. 

"The primary beneficiary of the PPEs will be PGH (Philippine General Hospital)," she said.

"Art and helping goes hand in hand talaga. It's innate in artists to be altruistic. For the buyers, it's a good motivation for them. Someone said it's [a] win-win [situation] -- buying art, at the same time being able to help," she added. 

When asked about the importance of art in a time like the COVID-19 pandemic, Cobangbang turned to the open letter of writer and choreographer Andrew Simonet.

In the letter, Simonet said artists can "create the images and songs and dances and stories that are needed, that comfort and challenge and inspire, that return us to our deeper selves or urge us forward into transformation."

They can also "build alternative economies based in collaboration, barter, DIY resourcefulness, and repurposing what others do not value," as well as "challenge assumptions and reframe the world."

"Dear artists, this is what we train for. This moment is a health crisis, a brutal one. It is also a crisis of meaning. It is a crisis of connection, of story. It is a crisis of who we are to each other and the agreements that hold us together. And those are things we artists know how to work on. The script for how we will be together in this time has not been written. Artists will have a huge impact on that story," Simonet said.