Artists are vital to any community, bringing affordable entertainment while creating a better place to live through their work. The appreciation of art has played a key role in building healthy and diverse societies for centuries. It’s often been a unifying force that brings people together during difficult times as well as helping to foster creativity and innovation.
Whether they’re musicians, writers, sculptors, painters, or other creative types, they face bigger challenges in smaller communities when it comes to scoring gigs or getting people to discover their work. While it’s almost always fun going to see big-name bands in huge arenas or checking out the works of famous artists in world-class museums, supporting local entertainment and other artistic work also provides the chance to discover favorites as a win-win for all involved, you might even be inspired by a new lyrical style.
Attend Shows and Exhibitions at Small Local Venues
The best way to support your local artists is to show up for them. Attend shows at smaller, local venues as often as you can. As most are paid and invited back based on the number of people who attend, try to get your friends, co-workers, or family members to go too.
If you go to a show that includes multiple different bands, don’t leave after watching your favorite—you never know whose music you might discover. The most important thing to remember is that if people aren’t going to those events, not only will your local singers and bands fade away, but the venues will probably die out too.
You can also support the arts in your community by regularly attending openings and exhibitions at your local galleries. It goes a long way in supporting your local artists and arts community.
Check Out Livestreams
While social distancing during the pandemic, live shows and exhibitions might be difficult or impossible to attend right now. In fact, COVID dealt a huge blow to the music industry in particular, with music events and concerts large and small canceled or postponed as Billboard reports.
In lieu of live in-person performances, many artists are opting to perform over various livestream channels, and it’s not only famous names like Dropkick Murphys and Ben Gibbard. Through social media platforms, concerts that include everything from free and donation optional gigs to ticketed events are just as feasible for smaller, independent artists.
If you can afford to, be sure and donate even a little something when asked. That could even be just a dollar. Money is money and if everyone did that, artists could easily stay afloat during this difficult time.
Get the Word Out
If you’re a fan of any local artists, don’t keep quiet about it. Share their work on social media and tell as many people as you can about them.
Build Your Digital Music Library
Digital downloads and streaming services are important for supporting your local artists too. When you do, consider which platforms you use as Pandora and Spotify pay artists just a fraction of a cent every time a song is played.
While most streaming services will take a cut, the online music platform Bandcamp is a favorite among unsigned and independent musicians—the platform even waived its cut, paying artists 100% of sales to help during the pandemic.
Book Local Talent For Your Own Events
If you’re getting married and need a band or singer for your reception or are hosting an event that calls for any type of live artist, be sure and book local talent to provide your community’s local artists with some income and exposure.
Buy Local This Holiday Season
The holiday season is officially here, and that means you’ll most likely be buying gifts for your loved ones. Unfortunately, thousands of small businesses have closed forever due to the pandemic, while Jeff Bezos, who was already the world’s richest man, has become 73 billion dollars richer since the start of the pandemic.
Instead of ordering things off of Amazon this holiday season, consider supporting your local artists. Examples include art prints, homemade candles, homemade soap, poetry books, and short stories.
Being an artist, even during a booming economy, is difficult. Having the support of their local community will not only be helpful to them, they will be extremely thankful.
We hope the above tips have inspired you to start supporting your local artists right away!
*Photos by Sayla Brown.