• Blue Forge Group

Hello Monday – April 6, 2020

Welcome to Hello Monday, the weekly, company-wide news show for the volunteer-run 501(c)3 nonprofit, Blue Forge Group. We were founded in 1989 to empower underrepresented storytellers, bring light to the shadows, voice to the silence, and make storytelling accessible across all mediums.

Every Monday we share all the changes, announcements, casting calls, job openings and news for our four divisions: Blue Forge Films, Blue Forge Press, Blue Forge Gaming, and Blue Forge Records.

If you are one of the 800+ artisans who work with us – an author, musician, game designer, filmmaker or actor – keeping up with Hello Monday keeps you in the loop. And you don’t have to watch: You can just listen to the episode or you can read the transcript each Monday at

My name is Jennifer DiMarco and I’m a member of the founding family, an author and musician here at Blue Forge. I’m also your host for today’s episode.

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Why is Blue Forge Open? To answer this question, let me read a post I made on social media:

Sorry about missing birthdays. Sorry about asking people to create. Sorry about not having the time to binge watch Netflix with you.

Friends, please do whatever you need to, to stay sane during this time. Many of our artisans are pushing for more books to be released, more projects to be launched, more, more, more. I’m being told that without creative endeavors all they focus on is this crisis. They feel “lost and useless.”

And so I’m working seventy hours a week and more. Making daily videos. Sending out free lesson plans for kiddos. Providing writing prompts and new scripts and counseling resources and supplies.

I would love to curl up somewhere, cry for a few hours, then draw rainbows for the next thirty days. But that isn’t a choice for me. I have been told art is not essential and we should shut down.

Guess what? We were locked down (no grocery shopping, no contact with anyone outside the household) for fourteen days prior to Inslee declaring stay at home for the state because Maxwell’s doctors said we had to.

And when that was over, we went out (in gloves and masks), grocery shopped and nothing else and were back in four hours, stripped, sanitized everything, and are now back in the same lock down for thirty days according to his doctor’s orders.

We are endangering no one. But with 100+ people contacting me literally 24/7 and asking for ways to be creative, ways to focus on something else, ways to feel powerful, ways to get through this? No. I’m not going to stop working. From home. In complete quarantine.

So... don’t want to watch a silly vlog with dogs and chickens? Keep scrolling. Don’t want to create? Don’t have time (I feel that!) or the desire? No big deal. You do you. Just scroll on by.

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Blue Forge Instagram. Senior Editor Brianne DiMarco of Blue Forge Press will be taking over the Blue Forge Instagram for the rest of April so expect a lot of focus on Blue Forge books!

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Digital Feast of Words. Speaking of books, we are launching an online version of our Feast of Words events that normally take place in malls. This version of Feast of Words has artisans – authors, musicians, filmmakers, and game designers – make videos of themselves talking about their work and what they are most passionate about. We then edit those videos and provide purchase links. We give the artisans postage and labels and charge them nothing and take no cut of their revenue. Any artisan with inventory at home and envelopes that fit their inventory can participate.

[Jennifer then demonstrated how to film a video in your own home on a cell phone and discussed how to focus on a single topic or theme and how not to talk about pandemics, viruses or quarantines. We recommend watching the video version of Hello Monday to get the full details BEFORE you record a Feast of Words video. Videos can be any length but you may need to record in shorter segments to be able to send the files. The video can be found at]

Amber and Dezirae, we happen to have inventory of yours so if you’d like to make videos, we can handle the rest.

If you are an artisan who wants to participate, email us! We’d love to have you join us.

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Create4U Youth Group. We continue to provide support for all members in our Create4U youth group – supplies, emotional support, food, and accurate information. Donations for the youth group can be made by clicking Donate at or by becoming a patron member over at

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Clothes for Homeless Washingtonians. One of our artisans, Dax Justice who hosts I Am Dax on YouTube, is delivering clothing to several of the homeless encampments in Washington. She has been doing this for several years and is respected and trusted in that community. If you would like to leave clothing in the delivery/pickup bin outside the campus gate, here are the guidelines: Clothes must be clean. No rips or stains. No broken zippers or missing buttons.

Text 360-550-2071 and give us 24 hours notice that you’ll be dropping off in the bin. Tell us what time you’ll be there and we’ll make sure the bin in sanitized and ready for you and after you leave as well so everyone is safe.

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Masks for Blue Forge Artisans. First and last: There is no charge for masks.

We were going to have this cool blue curtain with pictures hanging on it at one of our mall events that had to be cancelled. But this left us with several yards of fabric perfect for masks. If you are one of our artisans anywhere in the world right now and would like a basic mask, we can send one to you (if you’re outside of Washington or cannot drive) or you can come pick one up from the bin. We’ll include proper instructions on how to wear the mask, how to remove it, and how to wash it.

While these are not hazmat suits or fancy filtered masks, they do meet the basic guidelines for masks and so many states have now changed their minds and said: Start wearing masks.

Please. In the comments, I don’t need to hear about the size of various germs or how effective masks are or aren’t or whether or not masks provide false security. Either request one or don’t. I know how I feel about this issue and here it is:

If my artisans want a mask? I want them to have one.

There is no charge for masks.

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That’s all the news for this week. If you have questions or would like us to cover something next Monday, please don’t hesitate to write to us at or post a comment below.

And remember: Monday doesn’t have to be a day you dread. Monday can be the first day in the best creative week of your life.

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