Small businesses and non-profits are especially hard hit during the coronavirus outbreak. We get it! Baltimore Fishbowl is a small business, too. To help small businesses and non-profits, we will provide regular updates to let you know how they are coping.
The following is an update from Thea Tullman Moore, Executive Director at Baltimore Musicales, on how they are adapting and coping during these times.
How have you altered your business to adapt to the quarantine?
To stay connected to our audience and our artists during quarantine, we are recording virtual performances of the music we love, beginning with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic song, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Recording from seven different homes has presented us with unique challenges, especially because we are used to collaborating closely and in person with our pianist and with each other, but we are learning to adapt and use technology to simulate the experience of ensemble singing. We look forward to premiering a longer virtual concert on July 12 at 6:30 PM on our YouTube channel. We may convert our fall programming to virtual performances or offer a mix of both online content and live performances, depending on this ever-changing situation.
Are you doing something for the community or your employees that you want to share with our readers?
In April, we created The Musicales Artist Relief Fund to provide financial assistance to the singers and pianists on our roster who have been significantly affected by cancellations and loss of income due to COVID-19. Baltimore Musicales matched $3000 raised by our donors for a total of $6000 in artist grants. We have awarded three rounds of grants to fourteen recipients so far and will continue to do so.
What is the status of your employees?
Our artists are independent contractors and some of the finest singers and instrumentalists in the Maryland/DC/Virginia area. They are currently dealing with an overwhelming number of cancelled gigs. Live performances have evaporated, and with them, the income that these hardworking individuals need to survive. Baltimore Musicales is currently providing our artists with paid performance opportunities in the form of virtual concerts and special recording projects. Always dedicated to their craft, they remain committed to bringing high-quality performances to the community while in isolation.
How can readers help you get through the crisis?
We encourage your readers to buy tickets to our upcoming virtual concert, “Lift Every Voice.” Ticket proceeds will go directly toward paying the artists fairly for their work. It’s going to be a powerful and moving program, capturing the emotional range of this historic time and showcasing seven outstanding Black artists from our roster. https://www.baltimoremusicales.org/performances/lift-every-voice
Readers can also help by making a tax-deductible donation to The Musicales Artist Relief Fund: https://www.baltimoremusicales.org/support. Every gift has an immediate impact on the lives of these wonderful artists.
How are you coping, personally?
I am grateful for this extra time at home to plan future programs, sing and play through repertoire, have Zoom calls with our artists, board of directors and supporters, and be with my family. I miss my fellow singers and instrumentalists and I especially miss singing for a live audience, but I know that we will find creative ways to stay connected and continue sharing the music we love. Music and art reflect the beauty and humanity of this world, and we need that now more than ever.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Our concerts are accessible to all and there is something for everyone on the programs. From beautiful art songs—musical settings of poetry—to spirit-lifting show tunes and awe-inspiring operatic ensembles, music reminds us how much we have in common and connects us through these shared experiences, even when we are apart. Music also allows us to “reflect the times,” as Nina Simone once said. It is our duty as artists to express the emotions, struggles, and hopes of our communities. Baltimore Musicales looks forward to welcoming your readers into our musical community—virtually for now—but hopefully in person before too long.
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