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Pandemic Artists

Developing Art During a Pandemic and Providing Safe Entertainment for Everyone

The Genesis

At the top of 2020, the world was flooded with messages of optimism and confidence for the ‘Year of Clear Vision’. People had plans surrounding all aspects of life that were unfortunately derailed within the first quarter. On March 11th, the United States government made a formal announcement detailing COVID-19 also known as the coronavirus. This message preceded strict regulations that placed the nation on lockdown once the virus was declared a pandemic.

The arts were among the first to experience setbacks of COVID-19 policies. A great portion of our entertainment was shutdown in response to social-distancing mandates and stay-at-home orders. Performers and makers of all sorts had to navigate the offset to their plans as did the rest of the world. Fortunately, for artists and consumers, we are in the digital age. Some arts already employed modern technology and others simply had to pivot.


‘Summer concerts canceled? But, I’ve already purchased my ticket!’

What do musicians do when eager fans have paid to see them live and the government has rules in place that forbid the gathering? Some performers ignore all safety regulations for the sake of money. Our law enforcement has made hundreds of appearances to shutdown venues holding more than the regulated capacity. Others route for an intimate experience with limited guests or drive-thru concerts. The safest and now most prominent format would be virtual concerts.

We have legendary producers, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz to thank for the hit concert phenomena Verzuz. This webcast series of live music sessions began in late March of 2020 and has produced over 20 episodes. Viewers watch two commonly compared musicians face off in up to 20 rounds playing or performing their hit songs and features. Each session has engaged millions of viewers with fun, safe jam sessions. So, sit back or get ready to dance with your favorite artists in the security of your home!


Mask on, mask off; we’ve got to catch this scene!

How do we safely film with masks, social distancing, and all other pandemic-related regulations? It is not impossible, but it is not simple either.

The multi-faceted film, television, and theatrical producer Tyler Perry devised a quarantine camp on his 330-acre lot studio. He provided an extensive contract and process for all individuals involved in his productions. Tyler Perry Studios did not experience a COVID-19 outbreak. While not all filmmakers have a 330-acre lot with habitable housing to quarantine their talent and crew members, consumers appreciate all efforts. Being at home more increases the demand for new content. Luckily, we have digital streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, TubiTV, YouTube, and the new KevOnStage Studios which offers premium content from Black creators. Consumers of all backgrounds are able to find content to suit their preferences.


In the last decade, we have grown to love instructional art classes as sophisticated social outings. From Paint N’ Sip to waist bead parties, the creatives have taken over date night, girl’s night out, and even family game night! So, what happened to the handmade community upon the announcement of COVID-19? They soared! Artists have been providing virtual and private lessons for years; some consumers prefer the intimate experience as a form of therapy. ArtzyBella is an Atlanta-based socially responsible art studio that provides art services as a therapeutic tool. This company is a trailblazer in the use of art for serving mental health needs. The weight of the lockdown on mental health only increased the need for the arts.

Outdoor markets have also gained traction as stay-at-home orders became less mandatory. Many people were eager to get out of the house for more than a trip to the grocery store. Marketplaces allow artists and entrepreneurs to sustain their living and build their brand.


Most art forms are considered leisure, but food is undoubtedly essential. There has been a rapid increase of subscription boxes, delivery services, and curbside options throughout the pandemic. Though some dine-in facilities have reopened it is important to consider your safety while dining in public spaces. Be ready for a potential half-hour wait or more as restaurant staff sanitizes and rotates the use of eating spaces.

Culinary artists have also been making use of digital platforms to boost their brand. Prior to the pandemic we saw an increase of culinary artists engaging supporters in personable experiences through social media. Online directories have also aided the culinary world by providing niche or underrepresented voices visibility. EatOkra is a black-owned business directory that supports culinary artists and foodies by listing black food and beverage companies around the nation. You can find other directories on social media by searching keywords that match the specialty you are seeking.


The majority of us are ready for COVID-19, the pandemic, and all the restrictions to be a thing of the past. In the meantime, we must take precautions in hope of seeing a future without the dreadful coronavirus. Thankfully, artists of all forms have provided entertainment to help us cope with this current season. So, the next time someone debates whether or not there is value in the arts, you tell them yes!

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