As young undergraduate students on tight budgets, supporting the arts in all of its forms during COVID-19 may seem impossible. However, supporting the arts is not necessarily synonymous with celebrities making charitable million-dollar donations. And most importantly smaller businesses and freelance or up and coming artists in your area are often left out of the conversation.
That said, here a few ways you can support local artists and businesses without spending millions:
- Follow your local theatres, galleries, studios, artists on social media, and tell your peers about them. Share their posts on your stories!
- Share/promote their ongoing fundraisers online and to your peers.
- Attend their virtual or socially distanced events (following World Health protocols) if you feel comfortable – that can include pop up shops for new businesses, markets with local artwork, and virtual dance or painting classes. Get a friend or two to join you if possible!
- Share your positive experiences with a local artist online to help them get future commissions – that can include leaving a positive Google review, sharing their work or your experience with them in a post, story, photo or video, and crediting them, hanging their art in your home for your visitors post-COVID to see, etc.
- Recommend them when peers are looking for paintings, a dance studio, a local theater business, a Linked In headshot, etc.
- Buy their artwork or merchandise if you can. If the latter, wear it in public to promote them.
- Reach out to local artists and businesses, and let them know how valued they are, and how important it is for them to keep working in your community. Offer emotional support if possible and maybe write them a meaningful note, or call them, or even send them a care package that you can get signed by other happy local customers.
- Donate directly to those artists and businesses if you have the means (it doesn’t have to be a whole lot) and encourage your peers (coworkers, friends, family members) to do the same.
Of course, even our most meaningful contributions may not alter the financial fate of our beloved local artists but we can certainly try. And it certainly does not need to take millions.
Article inspired by How to Support Artists and the Arts During COVID-19 by Artwork Archive.