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Artists selling rare prints raise over $1.3M for NYC hospital fighting coronavirus

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An artist fundraiser for a New York City hospital at the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic has raised $1,380,000.

Pictures For Elmhurst featured 187 contributing artists giving back to Elmhurst Hospital in Queens.

Their prints sold for $150 each; the donations are going to buy the hospital personal protective equipment (PPE) including ventilators, N95 and surgical masks, face shields, goggles, nurse caps, shoe covers, isolation gowns, hand sanitizer, TYVEK suits, and disposable scrubs.

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Samantha Casolari, an Italian photographer and video artist based in Brooklyn, initiated this fundraiser.

Casolari told Fox News: “We are completely in awe of the fundraiser's success. We never thought it would get this big nor raise this amount. It’s humbling and incredibly heartwarming to see how much power a community has when it moves together to help and support. This initiative was completely grassroots, organized by a group of friends and developed initially via text messages. Each one of us is working from different places around the world and in NYC. It shows that one literally just needs the will, a phone and a computer to make things happen – to bring about change and create the world we want to see.”

Its initial success led to a big scale-up.

She said: “Obviously, it would have never been this successful without the donations from such incredible artists, like we had in both rounds, and we could not be more grateful to them for believing in this idea. On April 16th, we even added a second round with many notable names from the art and fashion industry.”

Legendary filmmaker David Lynch, whose credits include “Twin Peaks,” “Mulholland Drive,” and “The Elephant Man,” is one of the more famous names to be a part of the project.

By Monday, more than 250,000 people in New York had tested positive for COVID-19 — a milestone figure that likely undercounts infected residents by a significant margin. People in New York City, a worldwide hotspot, were advised to seek testing only if they were ill enough to possibly require hospitalization.

Hospitalization trends are more encouraging, and the state is planning how to gradually ease up on outbreak restrictions.

Total statewide hospitalizations have slowly dropped to 16,076, more than 2,000 below a week ago. The state recorded 481 deaths Monday for a total of 14,828. It was the second straight day with under 500 fatalities.

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Elmhurst Hospital has struggled to keep up with demand of PPE and is grateful for any and all help. The hospital thanked the artists for their ingenuity: “Lives will be saved and staff will be protected and supported through this work.”