The Life-Changing Magic of Mask Making and Helping During a PPE Shortage

ArtCube Market’s Meet Your Maker Spotlight: Beth Svenningsen

There was a lot of uncertainty when the pandemic started. Beth felt restless and wanted to help.

Beth joined the resilient ArtCube Army at the start of this year! (Side note: Can we all just agree “this year” started in March with the Pandemic? I don’t remember January or February anymore.)

ArtCube Army was a group of volunteers creating an ad HOC PPE supply chain during the PPE shortage at the start of the Pandemic. When Cat Navarro made the post to have people make shields, Beth jumped at the chance to help.

With ArtCube Army, we utilized the skills from the industry — from craftsmanship to coordinating. First, it started off as people picking up supplies to make material kits for 20 masks and then the makers would come and finish 20 by Sunday and then someone else would pick them up and bring them to where they were needed.

“I’ve been a part of ArtCube the last 5–6 years and to finally see Eva in person — and she feels like a crazy celebrity, and to see her on the ground and really helping the community — that was inspiring for me.”

We streamed lined the pickup system into different parts of Brooklyn where each person had a time slot and Beth described it as a hit and run, “my time is 4:15 and I would run outside and grab it and go.” That was for a couple of months and it ended in May and “It felt really good to be a part of,” Beth shared.

From making shields “I had this energy, ‘what else can I do,’ and Joann’s was having a sale.” Beth picked up a sewing machine and she said it gave her a “larger purpose, something to do every day when it was uncertain.” Her grandmother originally taught her how to sew, starting off with pillows and she hadn’t had a chance to pick it up until now with masks.