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New People’s Open Pantry Offers Access to Healthy Food

Building equity and supporting community access to healthy food are at the heart of the People’s Open Pantry, a new initiative under the aegis of the People’s Market, writes Ellen Wu. But starting a pantry during a pandemic takes dedication and planning. Wu talked to several of the people involved in the effort. Click here to read the story.

Theater Residency at The Hundredth Hill Creates Art During Pandemic

Krista Detor and Dave Weber’s artist retreat, The Hundredth Hill, has served since August as a theater residency for a troupe of recent graduates from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Not only has the group created two productions but they will also perform them for live audiences — an all but unheard-of feat in theater during the pandemic. Click here for the story.

Book Excerpt: ‘Minister’s Daughter: One Life, Many Lives’ by Charlotte Zietlow

Before becoming a local political powerhouse in Bloomington, Charlotte Zietlow and her husband, Paul, spent a year in Czechoslovakia as part of an educational exchange program. She says in her new memoir, “Minister’s Daughter: One Life, Many Lives,” with Michael G. Glab, that the experience proved American democracy was worth fighting for. Click here to read an excerpt from the book.

Galleries Adapt to Pandemic While Artists Continue to Create [Photo Essay]

Art galleries are adapting to ever-changing conditions during the pandemic. Photographer Paige Strobel visited several local galleries to find out how they are welcoming visitors — in-person, online, or both. “While the world looks different and extra precautions are in place,” she writes, “one can still experience the incredible artists and artistry this town offers.” Click here for Paige’s story and photos.

Some Renter Help Available As End of Eviction Moratorium Looms

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s moratorium on residential evictions is set to expire on August 14. Evictions for many renters are expected to resume the next day, writes Diane Walker. While rental assistance is available, demand will likely exceed the supply. Walker talked to housing experts who fear a disaster could result if more help isn’t made available. Click here to read the full story.

Peaceful Protesters Outraged at Racist Attacks and Anti-Black Violence

On two consecutive days in downtown Bloomington, protestors expressed outrage at the racial aggression, profiling, and anti-Black violence that residents have faced — recently, historically, and continually — in the community. Each protest was attended by hundreds of supporters, culminating in a march through the streets. Click here to learn more.

WINGS Offers Outdoor Adventures for Women by Women

Late last year, a group called Women in Nature Gaining Skills (WINGS) was formed to encourage women to participate in outdoor activities such as archery, hiking, kayaking, fishing, and birdwatching. All openings were filled before the first event in January. Writer Laurie D. Borman interviewed the organizers to find out why WINGS has exceeded expectations. Click below to read the article.

Bugs Come to Life in Ali Beckman’s So Fly Taxidermy

“I get up, I make coffee, and I think about bugs,” says Ali Beckman, a B-town resident whose Instagram account has 145K fans. While her goal is “to make people laugh” and see the beauty in insects, her gritty bug cartoons @SoFlyTaxidermy often address serious topics. Writer Dason Anderson asked Beckman about her work — and her book deal. Click here for the story.

Photos: ‘Enough Is Enough’ March and Protest in Bloomington

On June 5, Bloomington’s largest protest in decades was held in response to nationwide police brutality and systemic racism toward Black people. “Enough Is Enough” was a peaceful march and protest in which organizers emphasized that, while the event on Friday was encouraging, more needs to be done in the fight for racial justice. Click here for the photo gallery.

Parenting Through a Pandemic: Role Modeling and Self-Care

Biohazard suits, protective masks, sheltering at home, and other grim realities of COVID-19 have raised fears and questions among children. Providing answers can be difficult for parents. But, as Jared Posey writes, self-care is important not only for a parent's well-being but also for teaching children how to respond to future crises. Click here for a guide to parenting through a pandemic.

Hoosiers Take On Home Gardening

Home gardens not only create access to healthy food, they also offer physical, mental health, economic, and environmental benefits, writes Beth Edwards of the Indiana Environmental Reporter. No wonder home gardening has gained in popularity every year since the 2008 financial crisis. Sheltering at home has even more Hoosiers digging in. Click here to learn more.

Ethos of New People’s Market Focuses on Food Justice, Mutual Aid

A group of vendors, community organizers, and university professors began meeting last year to plan what would become the People’s Market, “a farmers market model unprecedented in Bloomington and Indiana,” writes IU history professor Ellen Wu. When COVID-19 “upended everything,” the group quickly reoriented to create a drive-thru CSA. Click here to read about the People’s Market.