Brainstorming ways that they could help local Minneapolis musicians out of gigs, Tillman and Hauser (a teacher and illustrator) thought about how First Avenue was celebrating its 50th Anniversary, all local musicians have played or hope to play on that storied stage, we're all home going nuts ... how about The Big Coloring Book of First Avenue and the bands who love it, to support them while they're out of work?! A plan was hatched, page were drawn, and the first Coloring Book For A Cause was off to the printers! All in like two weeks. The Twin Cities Music Community Trust is stoked!
So many great Minneapolis bands are in there ... I had a blast coloring Babes In Toyland, especially Lori Barbero's dreads.
Prince is in there, of course, as First Avenue is widely known as the house that Prince built for Purple Rain ... but the truth is he didn't play there all that often, and a zillion other bands have really made it what it is, but the association is there for life. And we're all forever proud of it.
The Replacements ... Hüsker Du .,.. Soul Asylum ... the classic First Ave bands are very well represented.
Newer (to the rest of the world) acts like Lizzo and Nur-D are there too ...
... as well as pages of the club itself for you to go freestyle and fill in however you like. It's weird, but it IS kind of addicting. Like, I get my mom's old roommate now. There's something soothing about it, and there is a satisfaction when you complete a page, as well as a kind of numbing to what's going on around you. I'm a coloring book convert!
And that's a good thing, because they're already on their THIRD Coloring Book For A Cause! There is now The Big Coloring Book of Grumpy's and Palmer's - to benefit the service industry workers currently out of their jobs at those classic Minneapolis bars. There is also now the brand new Dance Party Coloring Book - to benefit Violence Free Minnesota, because there is sadly a lot of domestic violence going on during this pandemic. Color for a cause!
It's catching on too. City Pages put a coloring page on their inside cover, with a totally appropriate phrase for the times:
... And the Star Tribune is releasing weekly coloring pages now, to be in with the cool kids. It's heartwarming to see how quickly these books are being churned out and snatched up, as they really are helping people while they're at it. This virus has done a lot of harm, but we're seeing an awful lot of good come out of it too. People are thinking of creative ways to help each other left and right, and I'm hoping that that will be the lasting legacy of this absolutely insane time in all of our lives around the world. I gotta go finish coloring in Atmosphere to look like Smurfs (Slug asked for it), but order yours and post your pictures, and help out some excellent organizations while you're at it. Thanks!
*PS - I think this is a great idea for clubs and bands and bars all around the world to do! All the local people would get into it. Give it a shot!