The coronavirus outbreak has brought out the best in many of us, including free concerts, funny videos and heartwarming neighbors-helping-neighbors stories. A group of New York performers want to help too. That’s why they launched Trickle Up, a streaming video subscription service that features a variety of video performances, reports The New York Times. Proceeds from the service will be donated to support fellow New York artists who are struggling financially during this difficult time.
For $10 a month, subscribers can access smartphone videos made by participating artists. In additions, those wanting to support the cause can make a one-time or recurring donation via PayPal. So far, more than 50 artists have agreed to provide at least three videos each in exchange for getting to choose a recipient of some of the proceeds. Some of the performers include:
- Basil Twist, puppeteer
- Bridge Everett, actor, singer, comedian
- Suzan-Lori Parks and Annie Baker, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights
- Penny Arcade, performance artist
- Andre de Shields, Tony-winning performer
- Rachel Chavkin and Lear DeBessonet, directors
- Dominique Morisseau, playwright
- Michael Gutierrez, choreographer, composer, performer, singer
Performances may include singing, dancing, dramatic readings, monologues and more from existing and original works with different artists featured each month. The project is being led by actor, performer and playwright Taylor Mac.
“One day, I overheard a woman in the lobby say she had three jobs yesterday, and no jobs today,” Mac told The New York Times in a phone interview. “I spent the first 35 years of my life living week to week, gig to gig. It’s just impossible for people to even buy groceries, to do basic things, with no stable income for a while, and then no income.”
The Trickle Up website describes the organization’s mission this way: “This is an artists helping artists network. If we can get 10,000 subscribers at $10 a month, then every month we can give $10,000 to 10 different artists affected by the Covid-19 cancelations. And every month 10 new artists in need will get $10,000. If we surpass our goal, more people will get help.”
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Mac said he hopes this is the start of something that outlasts coronavirus.
“My entire art form has been about gathering people together to share space,” Mac told The Times. “But what I see on the other side of this is the artistic solution: How can we still stay connected and build community?”
In addition to participation from dozens of artists, Trickle UP has the support of promotional partners including Brooklyn Arts Council, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Beth Morrison Projects, Clubbed Thumb, The Flea, HERE Arts Center, Howlround, Lark Theatre, Ma-Yi, MAP Fund, NAATCO, New Dramatists, New Georges, New Ohio, NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center, On the Boards, Peoplmovr, Play Co, Rattlestick, and Times Square NYC.
These are unprecedented and extraordinary times, and it is so heartwarming to see communities like this working together for the common good. Artists are taking their talent and using it to support other performers whose plays, concerts, events and other performances may have been cancelled or postponed because of COVID-19. This is a creative solution that could potentially make a big difference in the lives of the participating performers as well as the recipients of their generosity. Bravo!