Dear TRENDS Diary,

I’m a retired healthcare worker and small business owner [The Shop,] in the mountain community of Nederland. I was busy preparing for a festive Frozen Dead Guy Days weekend last March when we went into the shutdown.

A small group of community activists quickly realized that we were facing a very unusual situation, and that many of our neighbors were in need of help. We are accustomed to pitching in during fires and floods, but this was even more far-reaching.

I volunteered to reach out via social media, and to see what we could do. I asked for volunteers, and asked people to let me know what they needed to be able to stay safely at home.

I was overwhelmed by the response. Very soon, I had lists of volunteers and requests for help.

An artist's reflection on confronting hate.

Dear TRENDS Diary - 

It's been a dream of mine, for a long time, to be able to share my passion and joy for making things and its ability to turn nearly every problem into something any of us might solve. 

I've tried a lot of different places and different types of organizations. Honestly, libraries are where it's at. 

Think about it. The need to invent, design, repair and create objects for better living is as fundamentally pervasive as language in our lives. 

The library has always been about free access to language. We're expanding those languages to include the creative action of making things for our world, rather than being limited to consuming them. Being a Creative Technologist enables me to share my fluency in that language with others, for free!

We make our community more self-sufficient. That has never been more critical than during the pandemic. BLDG 61 Maker Space at the downtown Boulder Public Library has fostered nearly 70 small businesses with prototyping and micro-production. Those are personal economies being generated. 


Dear TRENDS Diary -

I started making digital illustrations as a creative outlet in 2017. I just needed some place to vent. I hated my job at the time, but I also didn’t have a lot of job mobility because I’m on a visa. I can’t just leave a company because I need to find another job that will sponsor my visa. I felt really stuck.

A lot of my early work was specifically about being a Brown woman in corporate America. My work was about the gender pay gap across different races or about companies’ performative activism. I transitioned over to other issues because I had a bigger following and felt like it would be a disservice to just focus on one specific issue. I grew, had more life experiences, and had eyes on me, which made me want to be better at addressing other issues.