The Indy Hall Gift Guide

Hello!

Sean Martorana here. Long time member, artist and designer.

Years ago artists & designers at Indy got together and created a pop up shop that we put up around this time of year for people to have a place to purchase items that were created by members.

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It gave a place for artists to show their wares, make some money (needed now more than ever) and an easy and convenient place for our neighborhood and beyond to shop local. We called this KINSHOP.

So I had the thought of starting a thread on our member forum where people can shamelessly post what they have for sale to create a go-to list for people looking to shop.

Artwork, crafts, apps, books, all is fair game!

Here’s what we came up with:

Bold Illustrations from Sean

I’ll kick us off!

My name is Sean Martorana and I am an artist/ designer that specializes in very bold colorful illustrative works of art that are applied to textiles and interior decor accessories and more.

You can find all of my stuff for sale at www.seanmartorana.com.

Here is a quick list of a few things for sale:

Under $100:

  • Mugs – Enamel + Ceramic Styles – Sold separately or in sets
  • Reusable Water bottles
  • Sketchbooks Journals – 6 different covers – Sold in Sets or individually
  • Apparel – tshirts + hoodies
  • AEON Coloring Sketchbook – Also available for digital download
  • Beach/ Bath Towels
  • Biodegradable iPhone Cases
  • 2021 Wall Calendar – With or without US Holidays

$100+:

  • Luxury Silk and Velvet Cushions
  • Over 20 styles available
  • Luxury Silk Scarves
  • Large Velvet Wall Art Prints
  • Light Cubes

Fine Art Paintings and Drawings – Full Catalog Available

Original paintings, drawings and custom prints are available just not currently on my website. If this interests you please contact me directly through my website.

A gift for family history buffs, from Nicola 

In my day to day, I’m a Brand Strategist and Designer, but in my spare time I love to research family history. I originally created this family tree design as a gift for a friend’s baby shower after doing a bit of research for them. And I thought this could make a great gift for others as well. So I’m offering it up this year to the Indy Hall community. If you’re interested, you can contact me through my business website contact page. (Just make sure to add a note that this is in reference to Indy Hall’s Gift Guide/Family History Chart in the contact form.) 

This 5-Generation Family Tree is great for those expecting a new addition as well as those who are interested in family history keepsakes. You submit your family names. I create your tree and send you a digital high-resolution printable file.

I can turn this around relatively fast for digital orders. This way, you can print at home or to send to the printer of your choice (saves you on framing/matting/shipping – and you get to personalize those items on your own should you choose to frame it).

• $75 for the 5-Generation Family Tree Print Yourself File

• EXTRA: If you are interested in assistance with researching your ancestors, let me know. I have about 15 years of research experience behind me and would be happy to discuss a fee to assist in your research – I also specialize in Scottish ancestry but I am not limited to that.

Designed to print at 12″ x 12″. I can send you the information on what paper I recommend, etc if you’d like to go that route.

Brandon’s Print Shop

My name is Brandon McNeely and I’m a designer/creative person. Check out my print shop, http://www.phillyimprintstudio.com for photography prints (Philly, nature, travel, abstract), Watercolors (originals and prints, & Holiday/other postcards (Available in bulk — 1 posted so far)

Photos can be printed to custom sizes on high-quality paper. For now all photos can be printed in either color or black and white.

Still working on pricing and picking out a shopping cart, so if you don’t see a way to buy yet, just reach out with what interests you and we can figure it out in the interim. brandesign82@gmail.com

Superfly T-Shirts from Saul 

I have a number of T-Shirts and other stuff in my recently launched shop use the code INDYHALL to save 5.00 on T-Shirts

Shop here: https://sauldraws.com/shop/tshirts/

All sales revenue will be going to a Bucks County domestic abuse organization.

Trees Have Feelings!

Hoping it’s OK I promote one of my favorite clients. She does amazing Self-Love, Self-Help Art. 

Her brand is called TREES HAVE FEELINGS. www.treeshavefeelings.com

And guess what, she draws TREES! Each tree has a different name, personality, and little story. Some are more loving, some are more temperamental and naughty (my favorite ones!) 😉

There’s also a whole collection for Christmas going on with new Limited Edition Christmas Trees and Christmas cards. Also, the artist’s story is pretty cool. She used to be a badass Hollywood TV producer for 30 years and basically did a 360 in her career after getting fired. It’s pretty awesome to see someone getting successful out of their passion, so if you’re not interested in any kind of purchase, feel free to just support on Facebook or Instagram.

Fill your loved one’s library with favorites from Lanternfish Press

2020 was our biggest year yet! We published two novellas, two novels, one memoir, one public domain collection, and reissued our very first novella, The Afflictions. It feels very strange that we now have enough books in the catalog that I can’t just list them all for you. It’s hard to choose! So here is the new stuff we put out this year and a few of our favorites from past years.

New From Lanternfish Press

Medusa’s Daughters

Selected works by women writers of the fin-de-siècle whose legacy still echoes in the speculative fiction we know and love today, edited by award-winning author Theodora Goss.

Ship of Fates

In Gold Rush-era San Francisco, the fates of two women descending from the same Chinese family are tied forever to an ancient lighthouse keeper.

The Anatomist’s Tale

Born into abject poverty in the British Empire, our narrator aspires to a better life as a ship’s surgeon—until a tyrannical captain provokes a mutiny, forcing him into a life of piracy and eventually to a tropical commune of maroons called New Madagascar.

The Afflictions

The Afflictions is a magical compendium of pseudo-diseases, an encyclopedia of archaic medicine written by a contemporary physician and scientist. Little by little, these bizarre and mystical afflictions frame an eternal struggle: between human desire and the limits of bodily existence. This edition features the original illustrations created by Pia Valentinis for the Italian language edition.

The Mason House

A woman recounts her family’s struggle with cycles of grief and addiction after her grandmother’s death in a former copper mining town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and explores how the family healed with time and community support.

Elegy for the Undead

A queer couple navigates one young husband’s terminal illness after a zombie attack in a bittersweet tale exploring how we say goodbye to those we love when the time comes far too soon.

Ride South until the Sawgrass

The fates of two Florida Territory families entwine over the course of tumultuous and brutal Second Seminole War and early Florida statehood.

Old Favorites

One Bronze Knuckle

Fortune has long smiled on the prosperous Berger family—until a catastrophic fire scatters them to the winds. Narrated by a witch whose knack for storytelling far outstrips her questionable magical talent, this charming debut shows that no matter what disasters befall the Bergers, the connections between them hold steadfast, no matter what the distance.

The Quelling

After a lifetime locked in a psychiatric ward, two sisters on the cusp of adulthood seek more autonomy, but the supervisor of their ward sees them as the key to his revolutionary Cure. His “treatments” become increasingly bizarre and threatening, and a troubled ward nurse may be the sisters’ only lifeline.

Other Worlds

From artist @Saul Rosenbaum comes an intergalactic voyage powered by your creativity. Strap in for a space odyssey the likes of which you have never seen.

Explore a sliver of the galaxy as yet untouched by light and color. With intrepid imagination and a steady hand, assist Space Ranger Zero-Darling on a mission to illuminate the uncharted depths of space.

Pack your space pants and your colored pencils and hop aboard the Ovo-1 Stargazer Quaintrelle. We’re on our way to other worlds!

The King in Yellow

Reader, have you ever wondered who struck fear into the heart of H. P. Lovecraft? It was Robert Chambers and The King in Yellow, a wicked link in a terrifying lineage containing tales that have inspired generations of American horror writing. Now, the terror visits you. Edited with notes and introduction by John Edgar Browning.

Carmilla

Isolated in a remote mansion in a central European forest, Laura longs for companionship—until a carriage accident brings the secretive and sometimes erratic Carmilla into her life. Le Fanu’s compelling vampire tale was a source of influence for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The Lanternfish Press edition includes notes and a new introduction by award-winning author Carmen Maria Machado.

The Vampire Gideon’s Suicide Hotline & Halfway House for Orphaned Girls

A vampire who runs a suicide hotline tries to do what he can to help humans who don’t want to live any longer and, in the process, accidentally adopts a teenage girl. This dark comedy follows the vampire Gideon as he tries to help the contemporary “children” he meets over the hotline—even as he avoids finding ways to help himself.


I hope all is well, healthy and creative with you and yours.
Buy from your local makers this year!

Happy Hallidays,

Sean

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July 2020 Covid Update

First thing’s first: this important COVID update includes a short survey at the end, which I’d appreciate you taking a moment to answer!

We’re now more than a week into the “modified green” – the most confusingly named phase of Philly’s pandemic response.

Confusing because green typically suggests “good to go” while, in fact, the Coronavirus is still very much a risk for our city.

We are paying very close attention to widespread reopening activities, looking for clues of when and how it might become safe to reopen Indy Hall.

To make the decision to reopen, we’re considering a wide range of variables, including but not limited to:

  • City, State and CDC recommendations and info about how the virus is spread
  • Actions and decisions being taken in other industries with similar priorities
  • Unique factors of our building e.g. a closed ventilation system
  • Actions and inactions being taken by our building management to make our building safe
  • The stress associated with the risk of transmission within our space
  • The economics of safely operating a shared space in pandemic conditions

As Monday July 6th, we’re continuing to follow the guidelines and will keep our physical space closed. 
Our next reopening update will be in ~2 weeks.

The exception is that we are allowing access to the space on a case-by-case basis for members who really need to get out of the house for some reason, and even then we’re taking every precaution possible to reduce risk. If that’s you, email me and we can help.

How are YOU doing, really?

A coworking space is the least of my concerns, it’s each of you that I’m thinking about most. Because while we’re still living with so much uncertainty, one thing that we’re still sure of is that there’s always more we can do to support each other.

Although we see and talk with some of you online, there are lots of Indy Hall members and friends that we hear from less frequently.

And even when we do “see” each other online, we don’t always get a sense of what’s really going on in each other’s lives right now. Sometimes it can be tough to share openly, or ask for help.

So we’d like to get a sense of how you’re really doing with this quick 5 question survey.

???? https://indyhall.typeform.com/to/Oc0YjChS ????

With this short set of questions, we hope to find out a bit more about how you’re doing, what’s on your mind, and how you’re thinking about the present and future.

All of the answers are optional, and you can even answer anonymously if you prefer.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to let us know how you’re doing, and please, remember that you’re not alone in this alone! ❤️

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Wanna make a difference and meet new people?

Hello, friends of the internet!

I wanted to extend a personal invitation to something special Indy Hall is hosting this Friday, and what I hope is a powerful community partnership with our friends at REC Philly

For the last couple of months, Indy Hall has been hosting an online version of our monthly open house event that we have affectionately dubbed “Open Hall.”

You can think of Open Hall @Home as sort of a “sampler” of short, scheduled opportunities to get together online in different ways. Nobody’s talking “at” you and it’s a bit more serendipitous than the most typical zoom events.

THIS FRIDAY, we’re hosting a special Open Hall in collaboration with and support of REC Philly to bridge our communities and support their Juneteenth “Black Joy Matters” musical showcase.

You can come to just one part, come to a few, or come to all of them. And then definitely join us for RECPhilly’s live concert in the evening!

If you’d like to attend – it’s free! – guests can RSVP here (Indy Hall members have a separate RSVP link, you should have already received that and sorry about the duplicate messages!)

Once you RSVP, you’ll find out more info about participation over the next couple of days. We also encourage you to share this event with any friends who might want to join in the fun.

But that’s not all – YOU can make a difference, even if you don’t come to Open Hall

When we talked to REC about this collaboration, one clear goal was to extend it beyond the one-day event. Their community is filled with amazing and talented creative entrepreneurs of all kinds – a lot like our community! – just with more emphasis on the music and the arts, and WAY more Black and brown folks 🙂

So we came up with two ways for our community to make a lasting difference, and we’re treating this Friday as a “kickoff.”

First: help us pledge 100 hours of expertise to supporting members of the REC Philly community

This isn’t structured teaching or even a formal “mentorship” arrangement (which can lead to weird expectations). It’s simply you offering some of your time and expertise to help one or more (predominantly Black and brown) member of REC Philly overcome some challenge in their business or career. It’s that simple, but it’s also super meaningful.

???? So if you can pledge a even just 1-2 hours hours of your time fill out this quick (<5 minute) form to pledge some of your time. 

We’ll keep track of pledges and work with the REC team to link members with you, starting in July.

Second: Financially support an artist in need

REC is also launching a financial relief program to provide microgrants (usually ~$250-350) to working artists who are unable to perform due to COVID19and therefore struggling or unable to pay their bills.

I would love for our community to raise $1000 or more, which will help 3-4 artists.

Small contributions really matter to reaching a goal like this, so I’m going to personally match the first $250 in small (under $25) contributions until we reach $250, dollar for dollar. All contributions of all sizes will count towards the goal of $1000!

Note: this is NOT a tax-deductable contribution, it’s a gift.

???? To keep this simple for REC and Indy Hall, I’m going to collect these donations with Venmo (@alexhillman), Square Cash ($alexhillman), or the card we have on file for your IH membership.

I’ll keep track of everything, share the totals, and make a single payment to REC! Just send me a message (alex@indyhall.org) when you send the payment (or want to charge your on-file card) and I’ll let you know when it’s done and marked down.

We’re going to keep both of these efforts going beyond Friday, BUT I’d love to show up for the REC community with a bang to start things off.

As always, lemme know if you have any questions or ideas for how to make this even better.

So, to recap:

Whew! Thanks for hanging in. Looking forward to spending some of Friday with you and seeing new friendships form 🙂

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WTF is Yellow Phase, Philly?

Folks are asking when businesses they love and need are going to re-open, which I take a positive sign about things to come. But if you’re like me – a citizen or a business owner – and feel confused about what that Philly’s “Yellow Phase” actually means, you’re not alone.

In the last few days, dozens of people in our community and beyond have been asking, “how is this different from…whatever phase we’ve been in?”

My take? This phase system is confusing, deceptive, and missing a LOT of critical guidance. 

I’m gonna try to clear up the vague and confusing parts about the phases, and more specifically, share what it means for reopening Indy Hall’s coworking space. 

First: I am NOT a public health expert

I’m a citizen, a community member, and a business owner. 

I’ve had to do a lot of research on my own, including talks with public health experts in the region.

Every decision I’m making, and the information I’m sharing, is through the lens of health and safety; not just of our members, but of everyone who our contact may impact. 

There is also much to life outside of work. How we socialize, exercise, and even how we protest against racism and police violence in our country.

Pandemic precautions are important in these environments too, but this post’s particular take on “Yellow Phase” is focused on work.

If any public health or epidemiology folks can weigh in on my take here, I welcome more expert voices in this conversation. @ or DM me on twitter or email me directly.

Second: Public Health experts emphasize that there are no guarantees

Personally, this is the scariest part of this whole experience. You can do everything right and follow the guidelines to mitigate risk. But the phases and any guidance inside of them are just that…guidance. 

You must make your own decisions based on your personal situation, whether that is as a business owner or informed citizen. 

I’m not sugar-coating or fudging any of the recos I’ve received so far. 

As always, I’m optimizing for health and safety. 

Business can be rebuilt. Lives cannot.

So. Let’s talk Yellow Phase.

As we know, for the last 2.5 months, the Philadelphia region was in a state ordered “stay-at-home” to flatten the curve of virus transmission and avoid overwhelming our medical system. 

During the RED phase, only life-sustaining businesses could choose to be open, if they followed the necessary safety guidelines. 

During the YELLOW phase, more businesses and locations can choose to open while following these guidelines. But the city (and state and CDC) also strongly suggest to minimize contact however possible.

This choice also recommends changes that may need to be made to any shared environment, including reconfiguring the space to allow for physical distance and removing shared items. 

Personally, I find the guidelines to be frustratingly vague, and feel like we’re being forced across a chasm from heavy-handed government restrictions to “make your own call, just try not to kill anybody.” There are problems with both ends of the spectrum, but my real frustration is how unprepared the government has left us. 

So while specific applications of the guidelines vary depending on industry, every expert I’ve talked to agree on the same basic framework:

being indoors with other people… 
outside of your “regular group”… 
for extended extended periods of time…

..is still categorically medium to high risk and should be avoided whenever possible to avoid contracting the virus or asymptomatically spreading it to others.

So while Yellow Phase guidelines do allow businesses to reopen and some people to return to work, if your workplace means you will spend time indoors with people who are outside of your work/peer group, strong safety precautions are still necessary. 

Strong safety precautions include ensuring that everyone correctly uses PPE (non-medical face masks), along with distance and additional cleaning/sanitizing of hands and shared surfaces. People must stay home if they are not feeling well. 

The key here: your safety precautions are only as good as everyone in your group’s participation.


What is a “regular group”?

“Regular group” is relative and somewhat ambiguous, but I’m thinking about it as “circles of trust.” 

These circles consist of folks who you are already in contact with – people you live with, people you work with – who you have reason to trust are practicing good pandemic hygiene.

And remember, being high-risk isn’t just about age or ethnicity. You can’t always know who has a compromised or weakened immune system. Someone on your team or in your community could look perfectly healthy and be high risk for this virus. 

Or, since this is America, they could be uninsured. 


These decisions are still very, very hard

Like I said earlier, I’m frustrated that we are jumping from government-mandated decisions straight to “okay, now you try it” when lives are at stake.

The government isn’t any smarter than we are, but they have ~3 months of experience processing the information to at least try to understand the risks. 

Now we are allowed to make those decisions ourselves…but in an environment where so many people are either confused about or downright disagree on what information is relevant, or truthful. 

This is a mess, and I’m stressed the fuck out. 

Since the government guidelines treat large sweeping business categories as the same when their risk factors vary widely down to the individual business or environment, I’m working on a draft of a “risk matrix” type tool to help people (business owners, workers, and customers) make more informed choices about reopening offices and returning to work. 

Even with that…this situation still sucks. Folks think “green phase” is going to be a return to normal, which it isn’t. We’re going to have to work together to figure this out and keep our communities and neighbors safe, especially those who are most vulnerable or disproportionately impacted by the virus. 


Again, if any public health or epidemiology folks can weigh in, I welcome more expert voices in this conversation. @ or DM me on twitter or email me directly

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We must work to change the system

I shared this post with the Indy Hall community this morning. It is not perfect, but it is sincere.

In the hopes that it might help others take action, I’ve decided to share it. ❤️


For the last several days I’ve been unsure what to write, or even if I should, but silence is in part how we got here. So I will speak only for myself, but hopefully, with thoughts and feelings and actions that others in our community share in solidarity.

Ahead of everything else, I want to acknowledge and address the pain and sadness and anger that many people are feeling, not just over the last week but for much much longer. I see that you are hurt and angry, and I’m here for you. More than anything, I’m listening and prepared to help.

I’ll echo something that I shared early in the pandemic that informed our choice to temporarily close our coworking space even before it was mandated:

Buildings and businesses can be rebuilt. Human lives cannot.

For white people like me, the damage on the streets hurts in part because it feels “close to home.” It feels like something we solve quickly, by assisting with cleanup or contributing to a business recovery fund.

But for Black people in our community, “close to home” is a clip showing a person who looks like them (or their parent or sibling or child or cousin or friend) being murdered by a cop. And for that, there is no cleanup or business recovery fund…only a justice system that does not deal fair penalties.

This system should not exist, but it does, and was built this way.

I believe that Black lives matter, and that “not being racist” is still too passive a stance to take. In order to truly believe and live the virtues and values of Indy Hall, it is a moral imperative that we work actively to end racism.

(Sidenote: upon re-reading those virtues and values, some omissions are glaring, or critically unfulfilled. More on that below.)

Feeling more compelled to clean the streets after the riots than to do something serious (let alone anything) about the system that incited the riot in the first place…that is the problem our Black friends and neighbors are facing.

So I am choosing to be anti-racist: to work as hard as I can to confront and fight against that system, and always remember that it is the reason behind the peaceful protests that began yesterday.

Through this view, it becomes maddening that the damaged buildings and businesses are getting more attention than the message of the protests. Damage to our city could have been avoided by having a system that supports and protects Black people instead of one that kills them.

Yes, I will allow myself a moment to be saddened by the physical damage to parts of the city I love. But I will stay focused on the reasons that the protests are happening in the first place instead. I love our whole city, and I want our whole city to be better for everyone in it.

Our Indy Hall community is also a system. We aim to encourage and inspire each other to be the best versions of each other and to put the best of ourselves out into the world. We solve problems and we do it together. In theory, our system should be able to confront this problem.

But our community’s system needs work, too. Not gonna mince words here: our membership is overwhelmingly white in a city whose population is not. No matter how good our intentions of being welcoming to all, something is off here and I know we can do better.

To spark your ideas and commitments, I’ll lead with my own.

Not being “together” due to the pandemic makes this whole thing even harder, but I believe it is both possible and necessary, and anti-racism will need to continue long beyond a coronavirus vaccine.

I’m not sure exactly what that work looks like, but I want to hear your ideas and your commitments. Here are some of mine:

  • To listen more than I talk (does that make this post ironic? maybe), and to better use my platforms to create space for more voices that need to be heard.
  • To educate myself, and to actively find and follow voices of people who are different from me so I can listen and seek to understand. The anti-racism guides linked below have been significantly helpful, and come highly recommended by a lot of the black voices that I follow and learn from. If you have resources that you have found helpful, I would welcome their addition.
  • To give people grace and offer support to find their own understanding, rather than attempt to convince them or bludgeon them with facts. This takes time, and is uncomfortable. But avoiding it isn’t an option.
  • To find ways to use my voice and platform for good here at home in Philadelphia, my home. To get involved in direct and collective action to change laws and policy while keeping Black voices centered, and in particular to ask community leaders and activists questions like “how can I help you?” and “where is my influence, whatever it may be, most useful?” I know I need guidance on this, so suggestions are welcome.

This list alone isn’t everything. But it’s laying the groundwork for more concrete actions now and choosing better actions going forward.

For people who are seeking out ways to educate yourselves, and to make a difference today, I have listed some resources below that others have shared with me.

For those of you and those you love who are hurting right now, please know that I am here however you need. I will listen, and do the work.

And I know I’m not the only one in the Indy Hall community who feels this way.

We are, and can be, and will be, a part of creating a better system.

We must be. Black Lives Matter.

I love you all very much. I support you. My phone is on if you need something, or just want to talk and have someone listen.

Alex

P.S. If you’d find it helpful to have a space to process your thoughts and feelings, starting this week I’m facilitating weekly “Red/Yellow/Green” sessions on Wednesdays at 12pm and this week, I’ll host an additional one on Monday at 5pm. You’re welcome to sit in silently or participate actively, however is useful for you.

Resources to educate yourself

Immediate Actions

Neither of these actions are enough on their own, but they are necessary and useful.


Special thank you to the community members who reviewed this for clarity and contributed resources, especially Black friends who have gone above and beyond to guide me. I’m forever grateful.

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