Monday, April 13, 2020

Bloomingdale's Craig Bowman: Our NEW (2nd edition) digital CoronaCARE package!

From: Craig Bowman & Common Ground Consulting On Behalf Of Craig Bowman & Common Ground Consulting
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2020 1:41 PM
Subject: Our NEW (2nd Edition) Digital CoronaCARE Package!

Common Ground Consulting LLC

It's Here & We've Created It Just For You

It's Another Digital CoronaCARE Package!

A couple of weeks ago we shared our first collection of
online resources to help us all survive physical distancing
and stem the tide of this terrible virus.

We received such great feedback (and a lot of terrific suggestions)
that we wanted to share a new list with even more fun stuff!

The good news is that our collective efforts to stay home
seem to be making a difference and saving lives!

As long as that's the case, we'll stay inside and look forward
to a day when we can all be safely together (in person!) again.

For now, hang in there and see you online!

Marco Polo is driven by one heartfelt purpose—helping people feel close. The app lets you talk to your friends through video chat—but it’s not live. Their push-to-talk feature creates a sort of digital walkie talkie where you leave someone a video, or ‘Polo,’ and they watch it whenever they get the chance.

What’s better than video chatting with friends and family? Seeing their faces while you beat them at a game. Bunch is a great little party app that aims to create a ‘frictionless experience’ between playing games and seeing someone face to face on your phone by allowing you to do both at the same time.

Co-Watching is a new Instagram feature that allows people to browse posts together via video chat. Users need to start a video chat to access the feature. From there, you can view saved, liked, and suggested photos and videos with each other by tapping the photo icon in the bottom left corner of the chat. Along with the new feature, Instagram added more stickers both to inform others of best practices during the pandemic and to help charities. Users can post stickers to share info about behaviors such as washing hands and keeping a safe distance during the pandemic. The Stay Home sticker can be used to show how people are practicing social distancing, and these posts will be added to a shared Instagram story.


Amplifier is a design lab that builds art to amplify the voices of grassroots movements. They work with a community of social change partners to build symbols, language, and distribution strategies that can change the national narrative.

Amplifier's goal is to reclaim and rebuild an American identity rooted in equality, dignity, diversity, truth, and beauty. Art can heal, art can save lives, and art can bring us together even while we are apart.

In response to COVID-19, Amplifier launched an emergency campaign with top art curators and public-health advisors from around the world to 1) encourage public health and safety messages that can help flatten the curve through education; and 2) create symbols that help promote mental health, well-being, and social change work during these stressful times.

"The role of the artist is that of the soldier of the revolution."
— Diego Rivera


So Much Free Stuff to Watch

Multiple streaming services are offering free content options right now, providing a wealth of free-to-watch TV shows and movies on a temporary basis. Here are all of the watch-free deals we've found so far!

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Today at Apple (at Home) -

You may know that we are big fans of Apple and we really love this new initiative! Join creative pros from Apple store locations all over the world for quick and fun projects they put together in their homes, so you can get creative in yours.

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"Creativity is intelligence having fun!"
— Albert Einstein

Kids & Family Fun!

Apple's education team has debuted 30 activities for kids and families to do as part of an ongoing effort to support at-home learning. Some of the activities include capturing a time-lapse video, going on a photo walk, recording a news interview, personalizing a portrait, seeing color in slo-mo video, and emojifying a mood.

According to Apple, these activities are aimed at children from pre-kindergarten to second grade, but can be tailored to suit the whole family.

Apple has also been supporting at-home education with a series of remote learning videos that are designed to help schools and educators use the built-in features of their devices to enable remote learning.

"You can't use up creativity.
The more you use it, the more you have."
— Maya Angelou

It’s easy!
1. Cut out hearts of any size from any material (cardboard, wrapping paper, newspaper, fabric, etc).
2. Decorate your hearts with positive messages.
3. Attach hearts to a street-facing window to show your love.
4. As word spreads, go on a safe family walk & see how many happy hearts you can find.

Audible Stories for Kids

For as long as schools are closed, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of FREE stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.

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All of the Free Kids Meals & Food Deals Nationwide

Good Housekeeping magazine has an awesome list of fast food chains and restaurants currently offering food deals and discounts, along with free kids meals and delivery, during the coronavirus outbreak.

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Sesame Street | Elmo's Playdate! Premieres Tuesday, April 14th | PBS KIDS


Standard Ebooks is a volunteer driven, not-for-profit project that produces new editions of public domain ebooks that are lovingly formatted, open source, and free.

Ebook projects like Project Gutenberg transcribe ebooks and make them available for the widest number of reading devices. Standard Ebooks takes ebooks from sources like Project Gutenberg, formats and typesets them using a carefully designed and professional-grade style manual, fully proofreads and corrects them, and then builds them to create a new edition that takes advantage of state-of-the-art ereader and browser technology.

"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."
— Jane Austen


So much to learn. So much time.

·    These days, it's all about the podcast. 800,000 exist with 30 million+ episodes! Everyone has their list of the best. You can find Good Housekeeping's 30 best here, or WhatPods 35 most interesting list here, or (our fav) the best of 2020 list from The Manual.

·    Take one of dozens of awesome courses through Amnesty International's online Human Rights Academy.

·    Listen to an incredible literary recording at The Post Archive. For example, check out this incredible 1971 video of a conversation between James Baldwin and Nikki Giovanni as they talk about the effects of patriarchy on black households

·    If you just need a break, Slow TV is going to blow your mind. You won't go wrong with any of the train trips—10 Hours Crossing Norway, perhaps?.

·    Learn history from the people who made history. First published in 1961, Freedomways: A Quarterly Review of the Negro Freedom Movement chronicled black life in the United States as well as in Africa and the Caribbean. Almost all of that incredible archival footage is now available on Reveal Digital.

·    Have you ever wanted to learn the art of making origami? The Spruce Crafts website offers step-by-step instructions. Make your first jumping frog or puffy heart! 

·    For the more serious among us, that bastion of learning, Harvard University, offers all sorts of free "culture classes." If you have five weeks, why not take a humanities course on "Tangible Things," or the 3-week, classic art and design course: "Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring: Modernism, Ballet, and Riots." Go forth and learn!

"Go wide, explore, and learn new things.
Something will surely have a kick for you."
Mustafa Saifuddin


All of These Games Are FREE!

We're living in a really strange time right now, with a pandemic spreading across the globe relegating many of us to the confines of our homes. Luckily, there's a bunch of great video games that are now free to play in the face of COVID-19!

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"Just play. Enjoy the game. Have fun.”
Michael Jordan


Cultural enrichment is tough during quarantine, unless you expand your horizons virtually. Here you can take a virtual trip to London and see Prince Charles' home. You can go on an African safari, or chill out and watch awesome animal livestreams to escape the monotony of day-to-day social distancing. There are also 31 Google Earth tours of U.S. national parks and you can even get some Disney Parks magic at home!

"A visit to a museum is a search for beauty, truth, and meaning in our lives. Go to museums as often as you can." 
Maira Kalman

The Food Edition

45+ Organizations Helping the Food System Survive COVID-19

These organizations are using donations of food, money, and volunteer hours to aid restaurants, service workers, farmers, and people going hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article will be continually updated, so check back often.

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Feeding America, with a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries, says donations to its covid-19 response fund will help food banks across the country support the most vulnerable communities affected by the pandemic.

Click above to donate to the national effort, or click below to find your local food bank if you'd prefer to support those efforts closest to you.
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation directs money to organizations leading on-the-ground efforts in the restaurant community and provides zero-interest loans to businesses to maintain payroll during closure or reopen once the crisis has passed. It will establish a relief fund for individual workers facing economic hardships or health crises as a result of COVID-19.
No Kid Hungry deploys funds to ensure access to free meals continues for children in need, especially with schools closed. It is providing $5 million in emergency grants immediately—with more to come—to help schools and community groups feed kids during the outbreak and making sure families know how to find meals while schools are closed.

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." 
— Mr. Rogers

If You Only Read One Thing Today ...

If you're like us, the last few months—especially the last few weeks—have been pretty darn stressful. Rather than recap all of the specifics, let's agree that it's been rough for most of us.

So when we saw this super straight-forward resource from a clinical psychologist, we knew we had to include it here.

This is her considered advice, following 31 patient sessions—all focused on COVID-19—in just one week. It's essential reading.



If you think you or a family member have been exposed to COVID-19, you can evaluate your symptoms with Apple's new in-home screening tool and understand your next steps.

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Everyday Mindfulness. Stress Less. Move More. Sleep Soundly.

Headspace is one of the best-known meditation apps because it is super easy to use, especially for beginners. It has great resources for COVID times and they are making the stellar premium version free for healthcare workers and educators.

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YMCA 360 — Free Family Friendly Online Exercise

Whether it's a current Y favorite or something new to you, YMCA 360 matches your lifestyle with a growing library of online videos for you and your family. During this time of uncertainty, the Y is here for you.

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Yoga With Adriene

Adriene's YouTube channel has amassed almost 7 million followers thanks to her friendly, approachable demeanor and clear instruction. I am not a yoga person, but she makes me feel safe with her relaxing style. Awesome for beginners.

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These Gyms Are Offering Free Virtual Workouts

Part of social distancing and self-quarantine means getting creative with getting moving. Here are some great live-streamed and recorded digital classes that you can join from anywhere.

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Nike Training Club App Is Now Free For Everyone

NTC provides over 185+ free workouts for everything from bodyweight-only sessions, invigorating yoga classes, targeted training programs, and full-equipment home workouts for all fitness levels. NTC Premium is now free to all Nike Members, too.

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"Train hard, turn up, run your best
and the rest will take care of itself." 
Usain Bolt

So much to cook. So much to eat!

Famous Chefs Are Giving Online Cooking Demos

As people stay home to #flattenthecurve and prevent the spread of coronavirus, several chefs and industry professionals have found a way to engage with social-distancing viewers via virtual classes.

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8 More Chef-Taught Online Cooking Classes

Cooking in self-isolation hardly means cooking alone. Here are just some of the folks inviting us into their kitchens online—a small reminder we’re all in the same, strange boat, at home in our socks and comfy pants, cooking through our dry goods.

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·    Mon Ami Gabi’s Vincent Pouessel walks you step-by-step through the creation of everything from a loaf of bread to a lasagna to a chocolate tarte in this series of videos. Shot by his daughters in his home kitchen, he dispels all notions of fine French chefs being stuffy and staid.

·    Every week, Chef Charlie Palmer (Pigs & Pinot!) will share the screen with a different sommelier to discuss a select pinot noir while he cooks a pork dish to accompany it.

·    Sparrow + Wolf’s chef/owner Brian Howard mans the camera as his 4-year-old son Brix walks us through the creation of dishes such as lamb chops, cinnamon rolls, and Detroit-style pizza. Whether he’s cooking in his chef coat, or what appear to be his pajamas, Chef Brix is probably the most adorable local chef cooking today.

·    Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana fame has just launched a new Instagram series called “Kitchen Quarantine,” where he will guide you step-by-step through basic recipes. In the first few delectable episodes, Bottura showed viewers how to make a Thai curry, a warm bollito salad, tortellini, and an “everything Mac and Cheese” dinner.

"Sometimes the biggest problems have very simple solutions. When people are hungry and thirsty, you just need to go
there and start cooking. That’s what we do.
Democracy starts with a humble plate of food.” 
José Andrés


Artists Are Still Playing Concerts ... At Home!

Even though many artists have been forced to cancel tours in light of the pandemic, you can still catch performances from some of your favorites online.

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The 101 Best On Spotify

Music is an amazing escape. No matter what's happening in the world, your favorite artist, song, or album will always be there for you.

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"Music drives you. It wakes you up, it gets you pumping. And, at the end of the day, the correct tune will chill you down."
— Dimebag Darrell


Let's not take ourselves too seriously.

·    Listen to Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard!) read sonnets everyday on Twitter. (And definitely binge watch Picard on CBS All Access!)

·    You can learn the guitar with three free months of classes from Fender!

·    Disney animator Michael Woodside is hosting a daily drawing class where he teaches kids and grownups how to draw Disney characters.

·    Enter the Rube Goldberg video challenge!

·    If you haven't already done so, download TikTok and start exploring!

·    Make a point of unsubscribing from every newsletter you never read. Just NOT this one, of course!

"Do anything, but let it produce joy."
Walt Whitman


Common Ground Consulting LLC | 1936 First Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

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