Have you found yourself watching more TV during COVID-19? Listening to more music? Finding ways to tap into your creativity? More than 6.6 million Americans have applied for unemployment in the last couple of weeks — included in that statistic are many self-employed artists who we are now more than ever relying on to entertain or inspire us. While we are leaning on them to comfort or motivation, they need us, their followers, their community to truly support them.
When I started #WomenCrush Music, a non-profit dedicated to creating opportunities for rising women-identifying songwriters through community, it was a monthly meetup/jam session. I started with the simple intention of making friends and cultivating community—it’s turned into a women’s empowerment movement in a still male-dominated industry.
Over the last 2 and a half years, we’ve hosted over 200 showcases, educational workshops and networking events across 16 North American cities and created a community of over 5K who want to see more rising women songwriters topping the charts and headlining at their favorite festivals.
How We Pivoted During the Pandemic
Prior to COVID-19, we provided our community of artists with the opportunity to play at our ongoing showcases to be seen and heard by more people, connect with collaborators and meet others in the industry. With social distancing now in place, and all in-person connections off the table, we’ve had to very quickly shift our efforts into finding other ways to support our artists and show other people how to support them as well.
In surveying our community, we’ve found that more than 50% of them have had up to 20 gigs cancelled, losing anywhere between $200 to $1000 per gig. Spotify payouts are $0.00318 per stream, iTunes sales are about 60 cents per song — constantly playing shows is the only realistic way many up and coming artists have to be able to make a living wage — along with often having a part-time or even full-time job to cover recording costs, equipment, etc.
How to Support the Artists You Care About
During this time of crisis and uncertainty, tapping into as well as giving back to our community is essential to getting through this and moving forward. Here are a few ways we can support artists from a distance:
Starting on Friday, April 17th, #WomenCrush Music will be collaborating with Quilt to bring you conversations with rising women songwriters to talk about how COVID-19 is affecting the industry & how you can support. Join us for music, community, and inspiration by downloading the free app and RSVPing to our series starting with iamchelseaiam on 4/17 and Paulina Vo on 4/24.
*This article was originally written for Quilt's blog on Medium by #WCM Founder, Ashley Kervabon-Stoyanov to launch the partnership. We could not be more excited & hope you'll tune into the series on their platform!
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