Press Releases


Har Mar Superstar

March 27, 2020

Sean Tillman Announces Coloring Books For A Cause | Series of Coloring Books To Benefit Charities Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic | 1st Book Available Now Benefiting First Avenue’s Twin Cities Music Community Trust

Sean Tillman (Har Mar Superstar) has announced Coloring Books For A Cause, a series of coloring books that will benefit different charities and people in need during this uncertain time. The first book will benefit First Avenue’s Twin Cities Music Community Trust, and features drawings of many artists from throughout the history of the venue (Atmosphere, Hüsker Dü, Lizzo/ Sophia Eris, Replacements, Trampled By Turtles, activities, even a Prince shaped paisley maze).

The books will sell for $20 each and will be run as a mail order operation from Laura and Sean’s home. The whole book is illustrated by the amazing (and local Minneapolitans) Stacey Combs (Stace of Spades), Michael Gaughan, and Laura Hauser.  The books are made in hopes to give people some fun activities to do while cooped up in the house while providing some financial relief to those in need. A win win!

“I had just arrived home from a Heart Bones tour that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  We knew things were serious, and real life felt more and more like a Twilight Zone episode each day.  The rules were changing rapidly, and, as a society, we were all accepting that self-quarantine and social distancing were the only shot we had to get through this without completely overwhelming our hospitals. Throughout all the uncertainty and questions (many of which remain unanswered), most of us started panicking as our livelihoods were put on indefinite hiatus.  As I write this, I still have no idea when I’ll be able to go back on tour — my main source of income — and I have been brainstorming with friends who work in the service industry, entertainment, and other businesses deeply affected by this halt of life as we know it.

Laura Hauser (my fiancé) keeps busy with work and a new project to help local musicians losing gigs during the crisis: If you emailed her a receipt for buying merchandise or music from a Twin Cities artist, she would send you a hand-drawn Thank You card featuring that artist.  It was a sweet, helpful gesture that proved VERY popular.  She couldn’t keep up with the demand, and we started brainstorming ways to accomplish this work on a larger scale. As we were on one of our first walks through the neighborhood since socially isolating, we thought of creating a coloring book that could be sold online to benefit people who are currently out of work.  It would also serve as much-needed entertainment for people newly working from home with kids to watch.   Coloring Books For a Cause was born.
We heard that First Avenue, our favorite local concert promoters, had set up the Twin Cities Music Community Trust to help their staff and local musicians who were out of work. It was a no-brainer that this would be our first benefit charity because First Avenue also owns and operates multiple amazing venues in the Twin Cities (Turf Club, Palace Theater, Fitzgerald Theater, Fine Line, etc) that employ many of our friends.  We mapped out a coloring book that includes illustrations of staple First Avenue artists from throughout the history of the venue. Once we got our list together, we reached out to two of our favorite local artists — Michael Gaughan and Stacey Combs (Stace of Spades) — to see if they’d collaborate.  We were thrilled that they graciously said yes, and we hit the ground running with the three of them drawing the entire book’s contents in three days while I took on the production tasks of a new publisher.  We couldn’t believe that our dream team came together without a hitch.
It is Sunday afternoon as I write this — we came up with the idea last Tuesday — and the book is being sent to the printers tomorrow. The idea came fast with a lot of heat, and we can’t thank everyone enough for giving us their blessings, support, and resources to make it happen.  We hope that, if this project becomes a success, we can make more coloring books to benefit many others while keeping you entertained during these uncertain times.  Thank you for helping us with our mission, and please visit the websites we have provided for Twin Cities Music Community Trust, our illustrators, the artists drawn within these pages/their web stores, and some extra charities they’d like to highlight for information on how you can help more.
-Sean Tillmann (Har Mar Superstar)
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Coloring Books For a Cause Mission Statement
Coloring Books For a Cause was inspired by our need to help our community stay afloat during the early days of COVID-19 self-quarantining.  While things are quickly changing around us, we strive to provide quality entertainment for those who may be at home for much longer than expected.  We will be donating a large portion of our proceeds (about 60%) to the business that each book is focused on while also supporting the fine artists that drew the pages and providing valuable info on how to support the subjects of said drawings. We hope that in these trying and uncertain times we can offer a bit of levity to take your mind off of things and just act like a kid again. Thank you for your help and support.

-Sean Tillmann and Laura Hauser

THE ARTISTS

STACEY COMBS
Stacey Combs (AKA stace of spades) is a fine artist & illustrator, hairstylist, and trivia host. While she finds it hard to sit still, much of the work that she doesis portraiture (be it humans, dogs, or beer bottles), and she often works with themes of environmentalism, social justice, and compassion. Sheenjoys eating, hiking, raising butterflies, video games, and, of course, theMinneapolis music scene.
www.staceofspades.com
Instagram: @stace_of_spades

MICHAEL GAUGHAN
Minneapolis-Based Watercolor Artist. “Thank you so much for supporting First Avenue and local music and Art etc. I hope you enjoy this coloring book it wasfun to make!”
www.michael-gaughan.com
Instagram: @michaelgaughanfunpix

LAURA HAUSER
Special education teacher by day, coloring book illustrator by COVID-19 outbreak/night. I love long walks in Minneapolis, music of every variety, anyrestaurant on Central Ave, and you! Thanks for your patronage with our firstcoloring book. Continue to support local art and visit www.tonyhauser.com if you’d like to help me and my loved ones (including my dad who inspiresme daily with his classical, Brazilian, and flamenco guitar).