Madison artists unite to bring awareness to housing crisis amid COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Jun. 13, 2020 at 7:50 PM CDT
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From musicians to authors, Madison artists are putting their creativity forward to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Madison Artists United formed to help bring change and help the community. Its founder, Len Mormino, said about a dozen artists are now working on a project to raise funds for Porchlight, a Madison-based agency that helps combat homelessness in Dane Co.

“In this case, we really wanted to help out in the COVID pandemic in some way, we started doing a little research, and found the housing emergency crisis was a big deal,” Mormino said.

Mormino said through each artist’s work, they are encouraging people to donate to Porchlight’s Dwelling Intervention Grants and Sustenance Program (DIGS), which provides housing-related emergency assistance to families who are facing eviction.

Singer, songwriter and Madison high school music teacher Anthony Cao wrote a song about the struggles people face amid the pandemic to bring awareness to the issue.

“Music just has the power to reach a lot of people even more than words by itself,” Cao said.

Mormino said it is not just musicians, like himself and Cao, who have chipped in.

“When it comes to dance, being an author, and music and comedy and fine arts- whatever we could we wanted to get everyone represented,” he said.

Porchlight DIGS coordinator Hasan Mohr told NBC15 so far, they have raised nearly $700.

“It sounded like something positive, creative, even inspirational. And, of course, anything that brings more community attention to Madison and Dane County’s homeless, near-homeless and previously homeless people is music to my ears,” he said.

Both Cao and Mormino said the hope is that their work will inspire others during a time of crisis.

To learn more about Madison Artists United, Porchlight and the project, click