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HireArtists.org Created as a New Marketplace to Help Artists Earn Income During the Pandemic

HireArtists.org Created as a New Marketplace to Help Artists Earn Income During the Pandemic

A direct, entrepreneurial, and creative response to the unprecedented economic crisis facing the cultural sector, HireArtists.org envisions a way to activate and support the myriad talents of a vibrant artistic community currently in isolation with the rest of the world. The commission-free marketplace allows accomplished, dedicated practitioners from across the arts to monetize their knowledge and offer services both creative and practical, including visual art and performances, classes and coaching, and assistance with everyday or professional tasks such as personal organizing, IT help, video editing, and more.

COVID-19 impact surveys from the end of March underscore the current fragility of the artistic ecosystem; as of March 25, a sampling of 33 independent producers projected revenue losses upwards of $5 million; collectively this group employs or provides paid contracts to 1,195 independent artists and 75 cultural workers. As early as March 17, freelance artists were reporting an average of $7,021,88 of canceled freelance work, a sum that has almost certainly risen substantially in recent weeks.

"For artists, many of whom have watched up to two years of paid work disappear almost overnight, HireArtists.org is a way to deploy their skills to recover and diversify their income," explains producer-curator Vallejo Gantner. "For everyone else, this is a moment both to help and to expand our world during this time of confinement. We see it as a mutually beneficial experience and an important model for creating new opportunities in a time of crisis for some of our most vital and vulnerable communities.

HireArtists.org is rapidly becoming populated by a diverse, international community of artists. Acclaimed theater artist Sibyl Kempson offers "Foraging for Edible and Medicinal Plants" via FaceTime or Skype from Upstate New York, longtime Blue Man group member Peter Musante teaches no-equipment-needed "Drum Lessons for Beginners," while seasoned stage and event manager Katherine Shelton ("Stage Manager For Your Brain") draws from her fast-paced, detail-oriented training to create systems that individuals and businesses can use to nimbly navigate the new Zoom order. Nourishment in many forms abounds-"Cooking Class in English with a French Accent," taught by beloved Brooklyn-based impresario Lucien Zayan (The Invisible Dog); private trauma and tension release sessions from New Orleans-based filmmaker and choreographer Meryl Murman; "Restorative Contact for Couples," by the practice's creator Gabrielle Revlock. Creative entertainment and education for children and their parents and caretakers is already well-represented-with live animation lessons, puppet making, tele-therapeutic art classes, and more-and sure to expand.

HireArtists.org is the brainchild of producer-curator Vallejo Gantner, creative director Alex Reeves, theater artist and manager Erica Schnitzer, philanthropist Chet Kerr, and IBM Blockchain Chief Storyteller James Dennin.


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