Protect Detroit Healthcare Workers from COVID19

As of 8/24/20 at 3:00pm, there have been over 13,417 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Metro Detroit alone and 1503 deaths, accounting for over a quarter of Michigan’s  COVID-19 deaths.

Detroit hospitals are RUNNING OUT OF SUPPLIES for their frontline healthcare workers -- Doctors, Nurses & healthcare staff who are treating COVID-19 patients. With more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases reported every day in metro Detroit, hospitals are already rationing personal protective gear like masks, gloves, and gowns.

Lack of personal protection equipment for health-care workers puts nurses, doctors and their families at risk of becoming infected and threatens to overwhelm the healthcare system even more. Projected models suggest that the number of cases may not peak for several weeks. We must act now.

Artists & Allies  is a group of artists, designers, and makers who’ve banded together to procure and create facemasks, face shields, and other personal protective equipment items for front-line workers. Some of us are based in Detroit, some are at the University of Michigan, and others are situated in Hong Kong and China.

We spoke with medical professionals and hospital administrators to identify that their greatest needs are N95/KN95 masks, surgical masks, gloves, and gowns. We are working with friends and hospital workers to start this fundraising campaign to secure medical masks, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to the healthcare workers who need it most. 

Due to strong personal & professional relationships, we are able to secure a large supply of medical & surgical masks from certified equipment manufacturers to be shipped to Detroit.

100% of donations will go directly into the acquisition and delivery of face shield armatures, N95 and KN95 masks, and other Personal Protective Equipment for frontline caregivers in Detroit’s busiest Emergency Rooms and Intensive Care Units. The more money we raise the more PPE we will buy. No money raised will be used for anything other than the purchase and shipping of PPE.


We are working to provide personal protective equipment through partnerships with trusted materials suppliers, rapid design and testing, 3D printing, and sewing. Our  international partners have sourced KN95 masks costing $800 USD, including shipping, for 480 KN95 masks and are now sourcing N95 masks @ about $3 each, plus shipping.

Your support and funds will be used to purchase these masks and donate them to Detroit-based hospitals, starting with Ascension  St. John Hospital, DMC  Sinai-Grace Hospital, and Beaumont Hospital , Detroit. The Beaumont Hospitals in Michigan are currently treating 1070+ COVID-19 patients (April 8th 2020). We will send future shipments to other Detroit-based hospitals, focusing first on those in SE Detroit who are seeing the most cases and have the greatest need.

On April 2nd 2020, our first sample of 3D printed face shield armature shipped to Hong Kong and was quality tested by a Hong Kong member of our team. The face shield was created based on a Swedish design  that is now being used all over the world , but our version is different as it is printed in a much higher quality filament. This is much stronger and less brittle. It will last longer, coping with multiple disinfecting cycles, so the transparent plastic shield attached to it can be thrown away when it is scratched from use and a new piece fitted. This design allows us to quickly assemble the plastic face cover using easily available hole punches. We anticipate being able to place orders for many thousands of those armatures in the next few days @ $1.40/armature.

If we surpass this GoFundMe goal, we will keep acquiring additional PPE for frontline healthcare workers until every last penny is spent.


We will be posting stories & photos of our donations, hand-offs, and the doctors you are helping on our Facebook  and Instagram .


“I’m breaking. It’s truly frightening. I’m working with  some of the bravest co-workers. There’s nothing to describe what’s happening. Resources are slim. They’re giving us an N95 mask and a paper bag for the entire year. Do you think that sounds safe? There are no masks. There are no gowns. We’re running out of gloves. We cannot stay safe and care for people. We are making life and death decisions for people."
— Emergency Room Nurse, Ascension Providence Hospital

“We are going to see a big tsumani …The growth rate is 100%. We are doubling every day… Detroit has a very high-risk population. On top of all these high-risk factors, we are socially and fiscally underserved. That’s why we are becoming the next epicenter with the trends that we’re seeing. The Detroit medical center is burning now.”
— Dr. Teena Chopra, Detroit Medical Center

‘”My division does not have N95 masks,” said a Henry Ford Health System nurse who works in direct patient care, saying that her hospital is rationing supplies. She now wears a regular surgical mask to treat patients with COVID-19 symptoms. Gowns and N95 respirator masks are being reserved for the medical staff working at the coronavirus drive-up screening tents and at hospital entrances. "I need my job but I am risking my own health everyday now," she said. "Honest to goodness, it’s getting worse day by day. "Patients are coughing in our faces."’
Detroit FreePress 

"There is limited excess capacity in the system for most emergency departments (EDs), and these shortages are going to lead to increasing challenges for our nation’s EDs in the coming months.”
– Dr. James Paxton, Detroit Receiving Hospital


Artists & Allies is organized by Jane Prophet, a British artist and the Associate Dean for Research, Creative Work, and Strategic Initiatives at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan. Prophet relocated to Michigan in July 2018; from 2012-2016 Prophet was associate dean research in a design and media school at City University in Hong Kong. Having kept in touch with many of her Hong Kong friends and colleagues and hearing about their challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak, Prophet felt compelled to organize an international team focused on addressing this global crisis.

Rebekah Modrak is an artist and professor at the University of Michigan. She is a social critic concerned with the way inequities play out and affect agency, education, and, in this case, healthcare. 

Steve Neavling is a Detroit-based investigative journalist for Metro Times. His work focuses on racial and economic disparities, environmental justice, and underserved communities.  

Halima Cassells is a native Detroiter, community-engaged artist, and mom of three.  Her work explores value placement, village wisdom, and the necessary mechanics for operationalized community thriving.

Ivan Zhao, Hong Kong new media artist and senior maker, inventor of the flexible 3D printer buildplate, Easy-Peelzy.

Stephanie Brown is an interdisciplinary artist  based in Atlanta, GA. She creates photographic and interactive conceptual experiences. Broadly, her work is a historical yet critical investigation of identity construction and the occurrence of implicit and explicit bias in the world around us.



Detroit Medical Center,  Detroit Receiving Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.

Stephanie Dickey is a fiber-artist  at designer in Detroit, Michigan. Her shop is now making masks for frontline workers. She is also making masks to sell to fund the making of the ones she donates 

Sheila M. Palmer is a fiber artist  in Detroit, Michigan who is the owner of a small studio downtown.  Quetarshe Textiles Design Studio who is making masks for frontline workers, associates, family and friends and creative entrepreneurs. She is listed on Instagram  and Facebook . 

Aside from donations, how can we help?

If you are a ER and/or ICU frontline healthcare worker, or a hospital supply administrator you can email us  with a subject headline “Hospital Professional: PPE Requests” at [email redacted] 

If you want to volunteer to help us with Detroit distribution you can email us  with a subject headline “PPE Distribution Help”. 

If you have a direct relationship with PPE manufacturers that can provide equipment at market costs, or you can help with supply chain management between US and China, please email us with a subject headline “PPE Equipment Manufacturer”.

 If you can help us to source plastic shield materials  to fit the US specified shield armatures that we are having manufactured please email us  with a subject headline “plastic shield materials.

If you are a member of the press, or would like to connect us with a member of the press, email us  with the subject headline “Press Contact” at [email redacted] 


Follow us: 

Facebook: @artists.a.allies

Instagram: @ArtistsAndAllies

Hashtag: #ArtistsandAllies
Become the first supporter

Your donation matters

GoFundMe protects your donation

We guarantee you a full refund for up to a year in the rare case that fraud occurs. See our GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.

See all

Fundraising team: Artists & Allies (2)

Rebekah Modrak
Raised $4,210 from 58 donations
Ann Arbor, MI
Jane Prophet
Team member
Raised $4,295 from 43 donations

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.