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Are We There Yet?

An Illustrated Journey
of Coping & Creativity During COVID-19

The Inspiration, the Story, and the Thank You

In May of 2021, a year+ into the pandemic, I posed a question to my friends and family:

What have you accomplished over the past year? What are you proud of?

 

I understood that everyone was overwhelmed and scared, sad and confused. I had friends who had weathered the COVID storm while teaching children at home or with elderly parents in their care, friends who felt isolated and alone, or who had a house full of family driving them up the wall, friends who lost loved ones, lost jobs, lost hope.

 

I also knew that every single one of them had persevered, and I wanted to know how. More importantly, I wanted them to see it and feel it. To hear the words coming out of their own mouths: “I am proud of what I’ve done and what I’ve been through.”

 

The response I received was incredible – 54 people shared almost 300 individual accomplishments. Some sent one or two, others sent lists of 10 or more. From huge life changes to the day-to-day tasks of simple survival, we did not just get by. In finding creative ways to cope, we made deeper connections to others, learned new skills, created art, supported causes, cared for each other, got outside, practiced self-care, and so much more.

 

Taken all together, the similarities were striking, the resiliency remarkable. The book is a collection of just some of these accomplishments (at least one for every contributor), paired with illustrations done by 20 artistic friends. Here on the website, you can find even more info - a full list of all the accomplishments shared, an expanded pandemic timeline, and bios for each of the illustrators below.

 

Thank you for reading, for sharing, for surviving the past two+ years, and for continuing on – in whatever ways you know how.

 

Your accomplishments, however small, are valid and impressive.

Rochester, NY 

June 2022

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Meet the Illustrators & Designer

Contributing from: California, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, & Utah

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Dorothy Albertini

Dorothy writes, sews, and dances in Kingston, NY. She is a dean and teaches writing at Bard College. You can read some of her writing at DorothyAlbertini.com.

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Kathi
Barry Albertini

Kathi is the author of multiple poetry collections and a novel. She writes about relationships as people experience challenges in their families and communities.

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Elsa
Bekkala

Elsa is a painter, educator, and owner of Studio 1898 in Lafayette, KY. She is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University.

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Erica
Bryant

Erica is the associate director for writing for the Vera Institute of Justice, and a dream artist. She was born in Rochester, NY during a mid-April snowstorm.

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Harmony
Button

Harmony is a poet and educator in Salt Lake City, UT. She is mother to a three year old, the remarkable Rowan Rogers, who is also a poet and an artist.

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Tate
DeCaro

Tate lives in and explores Rochester, NY. She loves reading, cooking/baking, cross-stitch, photography, baseball, and working on creative projects like this! She writes book reviews and shares photos at NewYorkTate.com and on Instagram and Twitter 

@tateellen.

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Ava
Fedorov

Ava is an artist, writer, and art professor in Boston, MA. She used to secretly draw on the walls when she was little, and now she does it for a living! Find out more at

AvaFedorov.com or follow her on Instagram

@avaglows.

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Julie
Fiske

Julie is a construction manager by day, and spends her free time making ceramic sculptures and volunteering for WALL/THERAPY, an art and community intervention project. To see her sculpture work follow her on Instagram 

@juliesunshine43.

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Christine
Green

Before Christine became managing editor at 585 Magazine, she tried her hand at archaeology, housekeeping, and grant writing. She enjoys gardening, yoga, and writing fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. You can view her writing portfolio at 

ChristineJGreen.com.

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Elizabeth
Haigh

Elizabeth is a multi-instrumentalist and composer, dancer and choreographer, and visual artist with several fancy degrees; she doesn't make much money but her life is very rich. Learn more about all the things she makes at 

linktr.ee/elizabethandco.

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Carla
Halstead

Carla is an art teacher who enjoys participating in community projects just like this one! She loves animals, exploring, and origami. You can find her YouTube teaching channel at Mrs. Halstead.

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Melanie
Klein

Melanie lives in Poughkeepsie, NY, where she teaches community college English, makes things, and writes.

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Lisa
Manley

Lisa lives in Maine and is a physical therapist working in pediatrics. 

Family, friends, arts, and being outside are the wind in her sails.

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Daria & Taylor
Markham

Mother/daughter duo Daria & Taylor live in Rochester, NY. Taylor attends School of the Arts, and enjoys all forms of artistic expression. Daria loves yoga, and all things connected to the practice.

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Claire
Michie

Claire lives in Portland, OR with her husband and two weird cats. She loves knitting, biking, and foraging for mushrooms.

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Amertah
Perman

Amertah lives in San Diego, CA where she works in post-secondary education. In her spare time, she likes to make things and draw things.

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Kimberly
Perrella

Kim is inspired by the power of connection and community. During the pandemic, she reignited her love of crafting and art, dabbling in drawing, watercolors, embroidery, cross-stitch, and sewing, and is proud to present some of that work here. 

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Glenn
Porter

Glenn likes to make art. Sometimes it comes out ok. Sometimes he makes art for books, sometimes for movies. Mostly he likes walking in the woods, being with his family, and not worrying about being creative. And naps.

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Dennis
Ryan

Drawer

Builder

Cat feeder

Master of none

Dennis-Ryan.com

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Designer:

Megan
Asbeck

Megan is a multi-disciplinary designer and artist. She loves to spend time outdoors, and has an endless list of hobbies. 

Check out all the things she's up to at 

linktr.ee/istisher.

Contributors

 

These 54 contributors sent in almost

300 individual accomplishments.

Abbie
Adam
Ali
Alix
Ann
Amanda
Aprille
Barry
Becky
Carly
Christine
Claire
Daria

Dave
Dorothy
Elizabeth
Elsa
Emily
Erica
Erin
Harmony
Jamie
Jenni
Jess
Julie
Karen

Kelly
Kim
Kim
Kim
Lee
Lisa
Margaret
Melanie
Melissa
Meredith
Mindy
Mitch
Nirmala

Pam
Patricia
Patty
Sarah
Shannon
Sharaine
Solange
Stacey
Tabitha
Tate
Tess
Vinnie
Anonymous x 3

© 2022 Tate E. DeCaro

ISBN: 979-8-218-02332-4