“In the Midst of Crisis Comes Great Opportunity”: How Artists Are Promoting Social Wellbeing with Dope Digital Engagement Projects

Staying home for social distancing is tough, and these artists decided to do something about it. In this post, I’ll show you how artists, writers, and musicians turned to creation to connect with their audiences, raise awareness for other artists who are taking a hit during the pandemic, and fundraise for a good cause.

Living that #SocialDistancing Life

The coronavirus pandemic has dropped the world to its knees; revealing systems broken for far too long, like the US healthcare system, or the insurmountable debts citizens collect through school, medical bills, or mortgages.

 

Not to mention how the most vulnerable populations – those who are uninsured, unemployed, undocumented, or homeless – who now have to fight to get into hospitals if they get sick (with over 160,000 confirmed cases in the states as of today), or have to struggle to compete with the new wave of 3.3 million Americans who have now filed for jobless claims.

 

The news is grim, folks. I won’t sugarcoat it. Even as we witness the old ways falling apart, I can’t help but notice the bright spots throughout social media. More and more, I’m seeing people showing gratitude for what they DO have:

  • Catching up with friends.
  • Spending more play time with kids.
  • Making time to pick up old projects.
  • Finding ways to support communities affected by the pandemic.
  • Making time to create

(…that last one is my favorite.)

As Albert Einstein so famously said, “In the midst of crisis comes great opportunity.”

 

COVID-19 Pandemic Inspires Creatives to Give Back

Art is Alive is a collective effort of writers, artists and musicians who’ve come together to help their communities – and each other – get through the coronavirus pandemic as best they can.

And what better way to do so than through art.

 

Rhiannon Giddens, Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman created Art is Alive to spread awareness, build connectedness with members of the creative community who’ve been impacted by COVID-19, and to connect fans with their favorite artists.

Events

I went through what’s streaming this week, and there’s quite the selection of live, captivating performances! Through Facebook lives, Insta stories, Watch Parties and more, artists are putting on exclusive concerts and shows for their quarantined fans! You can really have your pick:

  • Classical orchestra
  • Banjo bands
    Bedtime stories by Dolly Parton (affectionately called, “Goodnight with Dolly”)
  • Group meditations
  • And so much more creative goodness

You can see all of the events here.

 

This is such an incredible way to connect with audiences in their time of need. To help them escape the reality of being stuck at home due to a mysterious virus, trying to keep their sanity until the world gets back to normal. (You and I both know, the normal that once was will never be again.)

What’s important is to continue these gentle acts of humanity. For each other. Together.

 

Even though the draw is to pull in fans to connect with their favorite artists virtually, the site is also serving as a central hub for creative workers to get help in figuring out, “What do I do now?”

Resources

There’s some crude saying about those who pursue art as a profession and whether or not they’re able to enjoy a regular meal.

Millions of people have lost their jobs to layoffs, furloughs, or elimination. Artists are no exception. There are a lot of people in need of financial support from the government, but where to even start?

Particularly for the artist, filing for such aid can get tricky. Art is Alive provides over a dozen resources in living documents that are updated regularly to reflect government mandates.

This page is so loving.

Artists who’ve been affected by the pandemic can find resources to find crowdfunding efforts that aim to provide financial relief to artists. These resources extend around the globe to reach as many artists as possible.

Musicians who’ve never livestreamed before can find help in getting set up.

Instructions to file with the US Small Business Association for low-interest disaster recovery loans, and information about the CARES Act.

And of course, as a true artist’s heart would, content giving tribute to the unsung heroes of COVID-19.

There’s so much that needs to be done to support each other. There’s only so much that one effort can do.

 

What will you share with your audiences?

Now we’ve come to the part of the post where I want to ask you to reflect on something like Art is Alive. Sure, you may not be an international best seller like Neil Gaiman, or a badass rocker like his wife, Amanda Palmer. Perhaps you’re most certainly not like musician and composer Rhiannon Giddens, founding member of Carolina Chocolate Drops…

and you don’t have to be to make use of digital engagement.

Here’s what I want you to understand about Art is Alive:

Their digital engagement is going to be brilliant. Here’s why:

1. They’ve got high profile artists, writers, and musicians giving away their gifts for free, and doing it on livestream.

2. They’ve got fans dialed into their projects, message, and mission to help other artists.

3. Once they over-deliver on these exceptional performances, fans will be able to donate.  (Or, they can just throw their digital dollars onto the site. The world is their oyster at that point.)

 

  1. Lastly, the highly engaged audiences will draw in a new audience. Perhaps of more fans. Perhaps more fans who happen to be artists. Perhaps these fans who are artists have also been impacted by COVID-19 and need help, but don’t know where to start.

     

    What they’ve done here will be successful.

    What they’ve done here is something you can do, too.

    Listen: you don’t have to focus on creating such a large effort like this one.

    Just start locally. Say the things that are true to your mission. Do the things that make you feel more aligned with your business and audience.

    You may not think that you have anything to offer your people right now. You may think that there’s no reprieve that you could give…but you’d be wrong.

    If you’re into it, I hope you join my free Facebook Group.

    Talk to you later.

    Jackie

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