Jane Hamilton’s quote “People want to be artistes but don’t want to do the ground work” is the underlying irony to the state many artistes are in, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has prevented them from stepping out for ground events and doing what they do.
With a view to make lives easier for artistes severely affected by the bug bringing a halt to events, Roshan Abbas, MD, Geometry Global and Founder, Kommune, a performance arts collective, talks about the newly launched platform StayIN aLIVE, that brings together artistes to support one another and people affected by the ongoing pandemic. “This is an initiative to look out for the gig workers in the performing arts economy and stands on three legs, ‘educate, inspire and support’,” Abbas says. “Under the ‘educate’ leg, the platform plans to give useful tips to artistes about ways they can make money online by conducting webinars, seminars and more, through ‘pay as you go’ models. It also aims to educate them about their mental health. The second leg ‘inspire’ will make use of highly influential platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, etc, to collaborate with these artistes, giving them a great audience reach and allowing two-way communication. The third and the last leg is ‘support’, which is essentially a call for funds. The money collected will be disbursed to help gig economy workers, with some of the funds allocated to artistes too.”
Speaking about aiding the many comedians, singers and dancers who are not represented and lack any work at the moment, Abbas says, “Over 10 different collectives and ticketing platforms have come together with an honest intent and agreed to be a part of this initiative and I'm really grateful to all of them.”
Abbas believes that the platform has potential to get bigger and stay true to its democratic nature, by being open to all kinds of artistes who need help with formats, innovations and ideas. “We hope that by the end of this, it really becomes a foundation that can support them even post this crisis, though addressing current issues is priority at this hour,” he adds.
Currently, the platform has about 40 artistes on board, but aims to rope in at least a thousand and is banking on experts in the industry to put their minds together to create multiple unique formats.
At this point, StayIN aLIVE is focusing on Indian collectives, since they are the ones most under-represented, unlike global artistes that are well denoted even in the current situation.
Mentioning its associations with Bookmyshow and Paytm Insider, which are going to make use of the ‘pay as you go’ model, Abbas says that money from these platforms can then help the initiative monetize with brands associated to the platforms and reach out to their audiences.
Anyone wanting to be a part of this initiative has to sign a charter and agree with its terms before coming on board. Going forward, it also aims at providing long term solutions to its bearers in terms of insurance, medical aid, education or seminars to make them aware of technology.
“Post COVID-19 we will enter a phygital world, where physical and digital which both co-exist. Doctors will save human beings but the humanity within you will be saved by art,” Abbas adds, sending out a plea to keep art and artistes alive.
Artistes who want to join this platform can download the form here:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScnPkp8G4aZxidAmuTrFKfTAuTtncpz-oF8lP_WizSOEG3psA/viewform. They can also connect with StayIN aLIVE on Facebook – www.facebook.com/stayinaliveorg; Instagram - www.instagram.com/stayinaliveorg and Twitter – www.twitter.com/stayinaliveorg.