Thank you everybody. Our campaign is now over.
Support Black, Trans, Indigenous, Two-Spirit Artists
$30,565 raised
61% of $50k goal
412 contributors
0 days left
Ended Jul 14, 2020

My name is Commarrah Bashar, I use they them pronouns, I’m black and I identify as nonbinary trans. I’m an actrix with 22+ years of performance experience, writer, and emerging artist. Two weeks ago, I was minding my own business, working on a solo piece about a black trans nonbinary person running for Mayor of Minneapolis. I’m pretty much what you’d expect but should never accept for a trans working artist: Underpaid, in a lot of debt, underserved, struggling, yet still finding pathways to creatively thrive in ways that only someone who understands adaptation with the spirit and body as the starting ground can. 

 In the face of this emergency, a lot has changed. I’m working with Twin Cities Mutual Aid, a collaboration of folks mostly in Minneapolis fostering support and connection for mutual aid responses to COVID-19. We were inspired by Ijeoma Oluo's efforts to support her community of fellow artists in Seattle and knew we could make something like that happen for our communities in the Twin Cities. However, from the initial call, I’ve been clear: Since charity is over and solidarity is now, then trans black and indigenous two spirit artists SPECIFICALLY are who I give a damn about. So that's who we’re funding. 

 Especially when it comes to black trans women/femmes/and indigenous two spirit people, artists are equally the most impacted by this and the most capable of visioning a holistic and effective response to it. You need only to look at the two black trans legends on Minneapolis City Council and the work of Little Earth of United Tribes on their resilience hub pilot to know that. This is neither about saving us nor our indigenous two spirit siblings. This about giving credit where credit has been long overdue. 

Here are our initial goals:

  • $50,000 dollars to be dispensed as available. 
  • 100% of the funds will be given directly to black trans women/femmes/nonbinary/men and indigenous two spirit artists living and working in the Twin Cities area.  
  • We plan to uplift 25 artists--some of whom are identified by community members, but the majority of whom can apply--will each receive two thousand dollars each to do with as they need. 
  • Our priorities are black trans women and femmes, indigenous two spirit artists, especially the immunosuppressed among them. 

We are on stolen land worked by stolen hands. Now that land is taking it out on us in a very real way. All the fear and anxiety you have as you witness the system that’s been failing us fail you, go ahead and channel that into the will of your wallet and smash that donate button. This mutual aid effort is kicking off intentionally today on the International Transgender Day of Visibility, so in the words of my people “You better recognize.”


We also stand in solidarity with the policy demands as outlined by Black MN COVID Response : 

  1. Freeze living costs: Ensure housing for all during this crisis and prevent economic devastation for all Minnesotans. In order to ensure our safety to move through this crisis, everyone in our community needs reliable shelter to prevent the spread and care for themselves. 
  2. Expand Health Care Access: We must ensure access to treatment and protections for workers in order to keep ourselves healthy and slow the devastating impacts of this pandemic.
  3. Humanize and decarcerate Minnesota’s Incarcerated: The condition of Minnesota’s prison and jails, inside and outside of crisis, is a public health issue and are inhumane institutions. We must take immediate action by reducing the amount of people being placed at risk within our criminal justice system.  

A note on transparency : This fund will be hosted by The Twin Cities Logistics Collective for Twin Cities Mutual Aid. While I’m still underpaid, in a lot of debt, underserved, and struggling, I’m also the lead organizer on this and as such, I will not be receiving any of the funds. This is a sincere love letter to my siblings and I’m proud to make it happen. I know y’all got me. 

If you’re interested in applying for funds, please click here .


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