As people self-quarantine, limiting contact with others, the arts are being severely impacted. Everyone across all sectors, from actors and artists to musicians, are having freelance gigs, workshops, tours, festivals, and other work they rely on as their main source of income, put on hold or canceled altogether.
Those who work in the arts have given so much to their communities, so how can we give back by supporting artists?
The best way to support an artist or band is to buy their music. Buying as directly as possible will ensure they get the biggest chunk of it possible. For example, when you pay $10 via their own website, that’s all profit (after the cost of production). While streaming songs can help, direct support will put significantly more money into a musician’s pocket. The next best option is Bandcamp, as they tend to take the lowest share for music sales and merchandise.
Watch Livestreams – and donate if you can
Many musicians and other entertainers are turning to live-streams while they can’t perform in person, and they’re paid every time you listen. While each one doesn’t count much individually, overall, it can be a big help, and engaging with them also allows them to be heard, making a big difference when it comes to staying motivated. Oftentimes they’ll include an option to donate with links to the artist’s e-commerce accounts. If you can afford it and enjoy the show, even if it’s only a small amount, do so as it could put food on the table. While it’s no substitute for the energy of a live event for both the audience and the artist, it’s a great way to help sustain the community. If you’re throwing a virtual event, you might also look for artists for hire to attend.
Join Online Workshops
While in-person workshops may be canceled, there are plenty of ways to join them online. Is there a new art skill you want to learn or perhaps a new technique? This is a great time to do it while supporting artists at the same time. You’ll find just about anything under the sun being taught virtually, from candle making and photography to ceramics, drawing, and watercolor painting.
While you may not be able to go out to the galleries and buy works of art in person, or attend art openings, you can browse and buy it online. If you have a favorite artist, they probably have a website where you can view their work. Otherwise, start doing some Google research to determine what you like best and start shopping.
Give the Gift of Art or Music
In many communities, people have been encouraged to purchase gift cards to local shops, restaurants, brewpubs and the like to help them through this difficult time. The next time you’re looking for a gift, consider buying a gift card from an independent artist, a band, or musician. Of course, they may not have a gift card option set up, but you can always contact them and see if they’d be interested in helping you out, which will help them at the same time. It’s a great way to spread joy and ease the financial burden to the artist and the recipient at the same time.