Many countries are sliding into Corona lockdown nr 2, which hurts a lot of businesses but especially people working in culture and arts. Some get funding and support from governments, but the majority is on their own and needs help. These are seven ways you can use to support and help that our artists don’t suffer, without relying on governments and stimulus bills.
1. Buy something directly from the artists
Musicians, filmmakers, painters and a lot of other artists sell their work. In today’s internet age, buying from them is often only a mouse click away – and not affected by Covid-19 regulations at all.
2. Take online classes
Especially in our dance world, teaching is one of the most reliable forms of income, which is off the table for many in a lockdown. Tech-savvy dancers take their classes to the internet. Join online dance-classes to get your regular dose of dancing and support your favourite teachers, while doing so.
3. Spread the word
This point does not involve any financial commitment. Still, it goes a long way by exposing artists to a bigger audience. Simply share the work of your artist friends on social media. Does someone offer a dance class? Give them a shoutout and let people know why the course is great.
Someone released new music? Share their Spotify or Bandcamp. Sharing art is golden, no matter if we deal with Corona or not.
4. Engage in social media
Another point that goes without spending any money: drop some likes and comments on social media. All these platforms are data-driven, and the algorithms that decide about the importance of the posts use comments, likes and other interactions to measure. Follow the artists on all platforms you use, this rates them higher as well.
5. Become a patron
Some artists have set up ways to send them money via Patreon, Ko-Fi or similar services. If you have some change, there is your chance.
6. Be a voice
When there are public events, petitions or similar ways that can be used to get in touch with government institutions to raise awareness for the topic. Be there.
7. Validate their work
Let people know, what you think about the artist’s work. There are a lot of rating systems and platforms out there, that play a central role in the perception of art, especially when people want to find out about artists they did not know before. Some are built-in into your favourite social media platforms but most of them are not.
When the artists have stuff available on Amazon or other online shopping platforms, rate their products. You don’t have to give it 5 stars if you don’t think the work deserves it, but 4 and even 3 stars are better for discovery than no review. Same goes for artist pages on Facebook, ratings on Google Maps, Tripadvisor (if we talk about venues or stores) and every other rating system you can think of. The more reviews, the better. In the Corona lockdown, people are more likely to shop online, so help them to make it easy, to buy from artists.
While none of us alone will save artists or people who work in culture from bankruptcy, the combined help might secure people’s ability to do the work that matters to them, instead of going back to a job that pays better but does nothing to relieve people from stress, inspire thought or entertain. Imagine a lockdown without music, movies, books or clips from fellow dancers on youtube. Doesn’t sound so funny to me.