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All For Our Artists

Estimated Read Time:
2 minutes

Our artists are being impacted by the coronavirus, but they're adapting and bringing their performances and creations to you — wherever you might be.

Posted By Discover Durham Staff

We’re all aware by now that the cost of the coronavirus grows more severe by the day; impacting scores of families and talented members of our community. We’re social distancing out of necessity, yes, but distance is being created between the people who consume and crave our creative outpouring, and those who are able to provide it. Missing from the tremendous landscape of Durham’s culture are our robust performing arts events, tantalizing exhibits, and (immeasurably), scintillating spirit. From painters to buskers to gallery owners and dancers, there are many in our midst whom we miss this season.

But first up, we asked y'all: Who's your favorite Durham-based artist? Click on this Instagram story to discover more artists you can support this season. And while you're scrolling through profiles on social, take a second to follow @Artstigators, @Mural_Durham, and @DukeCreate.

Follow your favorite Durham artists!

Durham Artist Collage

Below, you'll find additional ways to support artists, especially as they adapt to this changing landscape and bring their work and talent to the screen instead of the stage.

Scrap Exchange

Innovative Adaptations

  • From Phil Cook to Michelle Dove, this latest edition of “Stream Warriors” in Indy Week is filled to the brim with performing artist magic. Check out previous versions.
  • Liberty Arts is featuring Durham artists via their Instagram account including Tricia Becker who is using her sewing machine to make face masks.
  • Horse and Buggy Press invites you to visit their online silent auction exhibit “Get Off Of My Cloud,” a group silent auction exhibit. Now, 10% of sales benefit the Triangle Restaurant Workers Relief Fund, (which comes entirely out of the gallery cut so artists still get full share). Gift certificates are available there, and their website will see new items added to the auction in coming days, as well as some additional special features.
  • We all need a bit of a silver lining in the midst of this, and Candy Carver has delivered. Check out her Instagram handle for more.
  • 5 Points Gallery is delivering art. To. Your. Door.
  • DPAC has begun a new initiative called "DPAC Living Room Sessions!" They have invited DPAC staff, DPAC Performing Arts Ambassadors, and Triangle Rising Stars participants and winners to submit videos of them performing live from their living rooms. Stay tuned for more videos released here.
  • If you hadn’t heard, the incredible Patchwork Market has transferred its marketplace to an online auction.
  • The Hayti Heritage Center is celebrating national poetry and jazz appreciation month with their live jazz and poetry program, Piano and a Poet throughout the month of April.
  • Merge Records is reminding everyone to purchase artist music through Bandcamp, and is taking their commitment a step further by waiving their label share so 100% of proceeds go directly to artists.
  • And for everyone social distancing and looking for ways to stay occupied, Papermill Creative made some free downloadable coloring pages to keep you occupied. If you have the means, consider donating to the Triangle Restaurant Workers Relief Fund when you download them.
  • The Durham Arts Council is going virtual with online classes. Running on Tuesdays until May 19, they will be using Zoom as a platform for their virtual classroom which will allow for teaching, students questions and group conversations. It can be accessed from a computer or your phone.
  • Downtown Durham, Inc. will launch the third season of the Public Space Project with a three-week series of online events held at 1 p.m. on Thursdays, April 9 - 23. Dubbed PSP Online, the events will provide a virtual, lunch-time ‘taste’ of Public Space Projects to come, and will provide a virtual way for people to interact with art and artists. This benefits all of us who are missing the vibrant art scene downtown and helps to support the creators in our community. Visit downtowndurham.com/psponline or follow @DowntownDurham for more information about PSP Online.
  • Though in-person Duke Performances have been canceled, they are partnering with Duke Arts and WXDU on a livestream series to take place on Facebook Live and Instagram Live. In the weeks ahead, they’ll feature exceptional artists that are a part of the Duke Performances family.
  • Preservation Durham and The Museum of Durham History are partnering to continue storytelling events during social distancing. On April 9 and 16 at noon, “street historian” John Schelp will be the guest presenter for a series of Facebook Live virtual presentations. The virtual event, which will stream on both Preservation Durham’s and the Museum’s Facebook pages.
  • The Durham Medical Orchestra is made up of healthcare professionals, including many Duke employees. The DMO collaborated in a virtual performance of a new piece by Durham composer Steven Bryant called “The Machine Awakes” as a means of battling the stress of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Pulling from the live-to-you-in-your-living-room / people-need-our-help-right-now traditions of telethons, Pinhook and NorthStar have joined forces to present What the Hell-a-Thon. With a line up that includes Madison McFerrin, Tashi Dorji, Sadie Dupuis (Speedy Ortiz), Shirlette Ammons, Skylar Gudasz, and Tift Merritt, the show brings something to Durham that keeps everyone safe, lifts people’s spirits, raises money for the Durham Artist Relief Fund, and supports local venues. The What the Hell-a-Thon will offer an audience, share resources, promote artists we all love and respect, and bring the community together in creative ways. Get in by becoming a sustaining donor to either venue.

Ways You Can Support

NorthStar Artist Fund
Artists are being hit hard by the pandemic-induced social distancing efforts. NorthStar Church of the Arts, a pillar for creativity, culture and community engagement in Durham, has created a fundraising campaign intended to assist musicians, dancers, visual artists, actors, filmmakers and more whose livelihoods are deeply affected by event cancellations. Additionally, a large percentage of artists supplement their incomes with part time jobs, often in the service industries that have already been hit hard by this pandemic.

Funds donated here go directly to artists and arts presenters in Durham who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19, with priority given to to BIPOC artists, transgender and nonbinary artists, and disabled artists (note: they will try to help as many artists with need in Durham as they can). Donate to Durham Artists here.

DAC Arts Recovery Fund

The DAC Arts Recovery Fund is working in partnership with the Durham Artist Relief Fund established by Northstar Church of the Arts (the two funds intend to support, cross-promote, and coordinate with each other to maximize resources available to the arts community). The fund seeks to expand emergency resources by attracting and administering dollars on behalf of public and private funders that are not able to channel their support through a GoFundMe platform. Individual donors may give through either campaign, or both! Support the fund here.

COVID-19 and Freelance Artist Resources

The Freelance Artist Resource Producing Collective has created a list specifically designed to serve freelance artists, and those interested in supporting the independent artist community. This includes, but is not limited to, actors, designers, producers, technicians, stage managers, musicians, composers, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, craft artists, teaching artists, dancers, writers and playwrights, photographers, etc. Click here to see this aggregated list of free resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines.

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