Arts Community Steps Up To Help Each Other In Covid Crisis

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We are all not in the same Covid-19 boat of challenges. Everyone, every business, has a different story of struggle to share. In the arts industry, the pain is quite profound.

The Covid outbreak pretty much signaled the Day The Music Died, along with other forms of entertainment.

But creative folks improvise.

In Orlando, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has launched a Frontyard Festival of outdoor entertainment. Scheduled artists include El Gran Combo from Puerto Rico, Foreigner, and Wynton Marsalis, as well as local groups such as Central Florida Community Arts.

Laid off Disney World cast members have formed a Facebook group called Ear For Each Other. Some are using their skills to craft holiday gifts. In fact, some members will be part of a holiday craft fair on Dec. 19th at Community Presbyterian Church in Celebration, Florida, between noon and 5 p.m.

And in New York, there’s another innovative arts twist.

Guy Stanley Philoche, a NYC-based painter, has launched his project to help struggling artists. Since March, Philoche has spent roughly $65,000 and purchased over 150 unique works of art from friends and strangers. He has spent as much as $500 on a piece of art.

His only criteria: The art needs to speak to him.

“The art world is my community and I needed to help my community,” Philoche told CNN.

“People say New York is dead, but it’s far from that. There’s an artist somewhere writing the next greatest album. There’s a kid right now in his studio painting the next Mona Lisa. There’s probably a dancer right now choreographing the next epic ballet. People forgot about the artists in these industries.”

Philoche is a successful artist in his own right. His abstract canvases can command in excess of $100,000 each, so he is able to pay it forward to those caught in the Covid-19 professional and economic pinch.

One of the artists he has helped is a friend who just had a baby and had lost his job because of the pandemic.

“I told him, ‘Don’t worry, we’re New Yorkers. We’ve been through 9/11, the blackout, the market crash, we’ve got this,'” Philoche said. “But he was scared, so I bought a painting from him to help him get through it. It was such a big deal for him at that moment, and that’s when I realized if he’s panicking like this, other artists are too.”

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