Virtual greetings, Quaranchico.
The Chico News & Review is back (Arts DEVO, too!). Well, sort of. The newspaper racks are empty. Print publication is still suspended indefinitely as we wait out the coronavirus pandemic, so we are all-digital for now, working from home on little-to-no budget in order to get some news to our community and keep some continuity as the N&R explores all options for financing a potential return.
As arts-editor-in-limbo, I’ll post this column on Thursdays, as well as occasional arts-, music-, culture-related briefs throughout the rest of the week. If you have some news, gossip, music, art, feelings, money, dog pics, advice, links or rants to share, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Note: If you submitted poetry for the CN&R’s Poetry 99 issue, we will be posting the winners on this blog in the coming days.)
So what’s up with the local arts and culture normally covered in this column? Today, the news isn’t good. Everyone knows that there are no concerts, plays, film screenings, art shows, open mics or festivals. As a result, the artists, musicians, soundpeople, box office workers, bartenders, custodians, etc.—many of whom have little savings and no health insurance—are out of work and face months of uncertainty ahead. And as for the nonprofit groups that produce much of the culture that makes Chico not suck, there is a very real possibility that some places won’t reopen. So, the biggest story on the arts beat is: The arts beat is in big trouble.
There is potential relief for nonprofits as part of the $2 trillion stimulus deal making its way through Congress this week, but there will be a lot of hands reached out for that money.
For now, one of the best options is to donate directly to art groups (see links below), or if possible, to purchase tickets for future shows ahead of time.
Also, if you come across performers livestreaming on Facebook, check for donation links. (And if you’re a performer livestreaming, make sure you have a link for donations via Venmo, PayPal, Cash App or Patreon.)
Locally, the badasses of the Uncle Dads Art Collective have started the COVID-19 Musicians Relief Fund, which “will offer $100 microgrants to Chico-based musicians and music educators. Once awarded, the funds may be put toward expenses that allow these artists to continue pursuing their craft and supporting their livelihood during this crisis.” The generous arts organization has seeded the fund with $1,000 and is now accepting donations at https://www.uncledad.co/covid-relief.
And last, even though I can’t vouch for the availability of funds or any other aspect of the programs, there are many online resources for artists. See the list below.
Take care, my friends. See you online.
Donate to local galleries/theaters:
Resources for artists:
Americans for the Arts COVID-19 resources/response center
California Arts Council COVID-19 survey
Freelance artist COVID-19 resources
National Endowment for the Arts COVID-19 resources
Faithful reader here. Glad to see you’re still typing.
Thanks for keeping this going! I know artists are still arting as best they can. Would love to know more about ways to virtually access local arts. Maybe highlight some locals’ Instagram, YouTube or other sites?
Art is incubating. Jason is nurturing creativity.