I do not want to talk any more about “these strange times.” We know. We know very well. Let’s skip the obligatory introduction.
The uncertainty of starting this school year has only made the Leland Quarterly stronger. I am incredibly proud of and indebted to every member of the LQ staff of 2020-21, who all take precious hours out of their schedules to read submissions and come to yet more Zoom meetings. Your dedication to and passion for the arts makes me confident in the future of this magazine. Thank you.
But art does not exist in a vacuum. It never has. It is a place to express ourselves in the face of a constantly changing, tumultuous world; it is necessary for understanding this world. For the cover of this issue of LQ, we collaborated with contributing artist Catherine Wang to highlight one of the many pressing issues of our present: the California wildfires. Those at Stanford and in the Bay Area will remember the way the sky fell orange earlier in the year, the way it made the world dark. The fires of 2020 were the worst for California in its modern history, burning over 4 million acres of land — more than 4 percent of the entire state — and pushing tens of thousands of people out of their homes in the midst of a global pandemic.
There are still ways to help. On the following page, along with Catherine’s artist statement about her piece, is a basic list of resources you can donate to. We encourage you to read more about the wildfires and global warming, about the people who have lost their homes and lives, and to take action in any way you can. And of course, we encourage you to keep creating.
WHERE TO DONATE:
American Red Cross
The Salvation Army
California Fire Foundation
Wildland Firefighter Foundation
California Community Foundation — California Wildfire Relief Fund
Latino Community Foundation — California Wildfire Relief Fund
Center for Disaster Philanthropy — California Wildfires Recovery Fund
United Way — West Coast Wildfire Relief Funds