Neighbour

Today’s the second annual Blog Action Day, a day on which thousands of bloggers all bring up the same subject, in the hopes of actually making a difference somewhere. This is an idea which i think is pretty clever, though i don’t hold out much hope of it actually making said difference. (How long have people been talking, blogging, etc. about Darfur? Right. Talk is cheap.) That said, i’m a cynical pessimist, so maybe i’ll be proven wrong.

ChangingThePresent

Anyway, i wasn’t going to bother participating, partly because i couldn’t think of a way to tie this year’s theme (poverty) in with an art blog. On a whim, though, i figured i may as well post a link to the Arts & Culture section on Changing the Present, one of probably a billion sites where your money goes toward things like “a teacher’s salary for one month” (or, in the case of the Arts & Culture section, one curator visit to help train museum workers, or one day of work at the MacDowell Colony. There’s even a $10 gift of “lunch for an artist,” which is no ordinary lunch – artists at the MacDowell Colony have their lunches dropped off in baskets on the studio porch, so they can work completely uninterrupted until the hunger strikes). It’s not actually very poverty-oriented, but it is a way to get money to those who wouldn’t be able to pay their own way.

On a less-artsy, more-poverty note, there’s another charity site, Kiva, which is focused on micro-lending. The last time i looked in the “arts” sector, there wasn’t anybody there, but now there’s nine entrepreneurs you can loan money to in $25 increments. Granted, calling this the “arts” section is using a pretty loose definition – all nine are in textiles, embroidery, or weaving businesses* – but i wasn’t really expecting poor women in third-world countries with five children to be trying to get by selling watercolours, either.

*which isn’t to say embroidery isn’t an art, but there’s a separate section on Kiva for those in the clothing industry, which is where i’d have looked first if i was looking for embroidery. It kind of threw me for a second, but it looks like all the “clothing” entrepreneurs are more focused on selling clothes than making clothes.

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