When I learned Saro Lynch-Thomason was planning to launch a Patreon campaign, where people who deeply believe in a particular artist agree to make regular monthly contributions to support her work, and in return receive examples of that work that might not be otherwise available, I wrote her thusly:
I asked Saro Lynch-Thomason if I could be the first to make a monthly pledge to her new Patreon campaign, not just because of our long friendship, but because I deeply believe in Saro, the work she does, the values she stands for. A gentle, tough soul, Saro gives us hope for the future of music that makes a difference, of work that helps us imagine and create a better, gentler, more just world.
Songwriter, singer, teacher, historian, author, graphic designer, artist — amazingly enough, she’s good at them all. But what I love and respect most about Saro is her essential decency and humanity, her rootedness in community and in care for others. Here’s a quote from her Patreon site:
“My song craft is about equipping living generations with what musician and organizer Utah Phillips called ‘the long memory.’ I believe that when we listen to the stories behind our songs, we are better prepared to walk the paths of resistance and resilience well worn by those who came before us.”
I’ve never before used this newsletter to request financial support for another artist. But in addition to all of the above, there’s a particular reason I hope you’ll join me in helping give Saro the space and support she needs to continue and enhance her good work. As she writes on her Patreon page:
“And, to be real, this Patreon is also a way to help support my self-care. I live with several autoimmune conditions and a separate form of chronic nerve pain. Dealing with these conditions can be tough, and the stability offered by monthly patronage allows me to regulate my schedule and take care of myself while still getting to produce the art I love!”
I hope as many of you as possible will join me in supporting this truly remarkable artist and humanitarian. All you need to do to get started is to click on the text below.
For this time in which so many of us are far away from family and friends, here’s Saro singing “10,000 Miles Away,” backed up by Sam Gleaves, Liam Purcell and Hasee Ciaccio.