How to Support New York’s Vibrant Independent Arts Scene

Even though New York is on pause, that doesn’t mean you still can’t support your favorite local bookstore or movie theater from home.

Online gift cards, donations, live streams and more are still viable options during this time. The WSN Arts desk lists some ways you can still support independent artists from a safe social distance. (Staff Illustration by Charlie Dodge)

One week ago, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered New York City movie theaters to shut down as part of many initiatives to hopefully “flatten the curve.” Earlier in March, Broadway also shut down as a way to prevent large gatherings. Museums, bookstores and many other arts establishments followed suit as they did their part to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Many of the affected organizations and artists are facing unchartered territory when it comes to how they will survive without their normal income. Below are a few ways to help keep New York’s unique art scene alive while still social distancing. 

MOVIE THEATERS

BOOKSTORES

THEATER ORGANIZATIONS/COMPANIES

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GALLERIES

  • Artsy – Website that allows you to view and/or purchase gallery artworks online 
  • Uprise Art – Mission is to inspire a new generation of art collectors to introduce art into their homes. It has a page for affordable originals that all cost under $800

MUSIC VENUES

  • Elsewhere – Community Relief GoFundMe to support the 80 employees who now face an uncertain economic future as the venue closes indefinitely 

RESOURCES FOR FREELANCE ARTISTS 

  • Springboard for the Arts – a resource list that includes webinars and community connections, as well as links to other resource lists to help both organizations and individual artists 

HOW TO SUPPORT FREELANCE ARTISTS AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS

  • Artist Support Pledge – Emerging artists are taking a massive hit due to the coronavirus. Thus, U.K. painter Matthew Burrows created the concept of an artist support pledge. It works by urging artists to price their works modestly, then posting their art on Instagram with the tag #artistsupportpledge. From there, other artists can purchase their work through e-commerce sites. If their total profit surpasses 1,000 euros, then they should spend 200 euros on another artist as well. 

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Mar. 23, 2020 print edition. Email the Arts Desk at [email protected]

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