Art during arduous times: A look at digital artistic endeavours during COVID-19 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Art during arduous times: A look at digital artistic endeavours during COVID-19

Canadian singer and actor Jann Arden poses for a photograph in Toronto on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. The show must go on, as the old adage goes, and some artists are working hard to make that happen as the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down entertainment events.Canadian singer Arden, who was to be honoured at the Juno Awards that were cancelled this past weekend, plans to perform a "mini concert" of four or five songs on her Facebook page later today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
March 16, 2020 - 11:11 AM

TORONTO - The show must go on, as the old adage goes, and some artists are working hard to make that happen as the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down entertainment events.

Canadian singer Jann Arden, who was to be honoured at the Juno Awards that were cancelled this past weekend, planned to perform a "mini concert" of four or five songs on her Facebook page Monday (at 3 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. ET).

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra has been live-streaming performances on its website.

And Toronto playwright and book writer Nick Green has launched the website The Social Distancing Festival to help showcase works that have been postponed or cancelled.

He says it's also a way to raise morale and provide motivation to artists who may otherwise end up in "some dark, unproductive places" during these difficult times of self-isolating and social distancing.

Green's own musical, "In Real Life," which was co-written with composer Kevin Wong and was a development production with Theatre Sheridan, was cancelled Friday due to the virus.

He said he's received submissions from all over the world and many different artistic mediums for his new site. He's funding it on his own and directing offers of financial support to charitable organizations for artists.

Green is asking artists to submit short excerpts or clips of something they were excited about sharing, such as a song or scene or costume sketch.

He's also building a resource for live-streamed performances. He doesn't have the capability of hosting live streams on his site, but he's accepting links to live streams that he can showcase on various platforms.

"Right now, I'm prioritizing submissions from folks who have had their work cancelled or disrupted in some way, which could mean delayed or put on hiatus," Green said Monday in a phone interview.

"At this point my thought is to showcase artists from a lot of different mediums, and I imagine that I'll be featuring certain artists on the site as well as keeping an ongoing archive of different submissions as well."

Other similar initiatives popping up include a nightly series of free web streams from The Metropolitan Opera, and a YouTube show from American country singer Hunter Hayes scheduled for Monday night.

The online theatre publication Broadway World has partnered with performers from the Great White Way to launch a series of Living Room Concerts, featuring shows direct from their own homes.

"Hamilton" creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Russian-German pianist Igor Levit have been posting videos of themselves playing on Twitter.

Broadway star Laura Benanti has asked high school musical artists to tag her in videos of themselves singing so she can post them on her Twitter account.

The streaming subscription service OntheBoards.tv, which features films as well as artistic projects and contemporary performances, is offering free access through the end of April 2020.

And the recently cancelled South By Southwest festival says it's "exploring options to deliver some online experiences in the near future."

Online:

https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/

https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 16, 2020.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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