Taylor Mac, Kristin Marting, Morgan Jenness, Emily Morse, Niegel Smith, and a group of over 50 other New York City artists—including Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Fellowship and OBIE Award winners spanning numerous disciplines—have hatched a plan to help artists hurt from the COVID-19 shutdown. Inspired by the artists-on-behalf-of-artists activism of Elizabeth Swados, they have made a new grassroots subscription video platform, The Trickle Up NYC (An Artists Network). As members of the performing arts community struggle to maintain their livelihoods amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Trickle Up NYC enlists artists who are suffering from lost income, by sharing work on the platform. An artists helping artists network.
If we can get 10,000 subscribers at $10 a month, then every month we can give $10,000 commissions (for further video content) to 10 different artists affected by the Covid-19 cancelations. And every month thereafter new artists in need will get $10,000 commissions.
We launched on March 23 and one week later, we gave a $10,000 commission to our first artist. Every time we get to $10,000, another artist will be hired to create content.
FEATURED ARTISTS, SO FAR, WHO HAVE DONATED CONTENT TO HELP OTHERS INCLUDE:
Penny Arcade, Annie Baker (with Matt Maher), Helga Davis, Machine Dazzle, Ty Defoe, Andre De Shields, Kristoffer Diaz, Do Tell Productions (Jeyn Levison and Joshua Waletzky), Faye Driscoll, Bridget Everett, Rachel Chavkin, Sharon Bridgforth, Lisa D’Amour, Lear deBessonet, Viva DeConcini, Anastasia Durasova, Clove Galilee (with Ruth Maleczech), Greg Glassman, Miguel Gutierrez, Lucas Hnath, Marika Hughes, Mia Katigbak, Lisa Kron, Young Jean Lee, Dana Lyn, Taylor Mac, Kristin Marting, Dirty Martini, Muriel Miguel / Spiderwoman Theatre, Dominique Morisseau, Lynn Nottage, Diana Oh, Annie-B Parson, Clint Ramos, Sarah Ruhl, Bart Sher, Split Britches (Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver), Sxip Shirey, Niegel Smith, Lloyd Suh, The Talking Band (Ellen Maddow and Paul Zimet), Tigger!, Darrel Thorne, Liesl Tommy, Adrienne Truscott, Basil Twist, Paula Vogel, Anne Washburn (with Thomas Jay Ryan), and Weirdos.TV.
THESE DONATING ARTISTS WILL SELECT RECIPIENTS OF THE $10,000 COMMISSIONS.
Taylor Mac explains, “Trickle Up NYC is a network where you would see stuff you would never otherwise get to see. When else are you going to see the playwright read their entire play?”
“I was at a theater and overheard somebody in the lobby say that yesterday she had three jobs and today she had zero jobs. This was a person living week-to-week already, and on my way home, I thought, ‘how is she going to survive, and what can we do to help someone in this position?’ As so many of us are people who currently or historically have lived below the poverty line, we know how hard it is to do basic things like buy groceries, and also we know how much a big lump sum like $10,000 can change your life. My first grant was $7,000 from the Peter S. Reed Foundation and was thanks to another artist, Elizabeth Swados, putting my name on the list of recipients. At the time I had no money and was racing to pay basic necessities. Getting that grant changed everything. Our hope is that we can do the same for an unprecedented number of artists. Both in this time of heightened need and moving forward. Every year.” The artists aim to begin the project as a grassroots effort among New York artists—who themselves represent various corners of the country and world—and see if and how it might expand to artists elsewhere from there.
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