19 Acts of COVID-19 Bravery

Digital performances prompted by the corona virus outbreak, curated by Brendan Drake & Kate Ladenheim
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In unprecedented times of fear and uncertainty — like the current COVID-19 pandemic — the arts are where we turn. We turn to them for inspiration, to be in communion with others. To push our bodies, hearts, minds and spirits beyond our comfort zones. In this particular moment, when the most responsible thing to do is self-isolate, this becomes a great challenge.

Our community has been hit hard by this crisis. Dance artists and performance spaces, those havens for embodied communion, are gutted by quarantine. Arts events across the country have been cancelled. Dance and arts practitioners find themselves suddenly and frighteningly out of work, and robbed of the support systems for their practice, social safety nets, and expression.

However, like all other moments in history, there is a unique and exciting opportunity to respond to the moment at hand.

19 Acts of COVID-19 Bravery is a call to push our creativity, as well as the frames and framing of our work. We are recruiting 19 artists to build works responding to otherwise everyday occurrences that, during COVID-19, can be re-framed as courageous, provocative, or acts of communal care. These performances are meant exclusively for digital spaces, to be seen and absorbed while we are socially distant.

Through this performance series, we hope to challenge the ways we can connect through technology, through our bodies, and through time, using the full might of our cleverness, our potential for abstraction, and our propensity for hope.

In unprecedented times of fear and uncertainty — like the current COVID-19 pandemic — the arts are where we turn. We turn to them for inspiration, to be in communion with others. To push our bodies, hearts, minds and spirits beyond our comfort zones. In this particular moment, when the most responsible thing to do is self-isolate, this becomes a great challenge.

Our community has been hit hard by this crisis. Dance artists and performance spaces, those havens for embodied communion, are gutted by quarantine. Arts events across the country have been cancelled. Dance and arts practitioners find themselves suddenly and frighteningly out of work, and robbed of the support systems for their practice, social safety nets, and expression.

However, like all other moments in history, there is a unique and exciting opportunity to respond to the moment at hand.

19 Acts of COVID-19 Bravery is a call to push our creativity, as well as the frames and framing of our work. We are recruiting 19 artists to build works responding to otherwise everyday occurrences that, during COVID-19, can be re-framed as courageous, provocative, or acts of communal care. These performances are meant exclusively for digital spaces, to be seen and absorbed while we are socially distant.

Through this performance series, we hope to challenge the ways we can connect through technology, through our bodies, and through time, using the full might of our cleverness, our potential for abstraction, and our propensity for hope.

BE BRAVE

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO Friday, March 27th. Submit your idea by filling out the form below.

We’re looking for: new works to be created during self-isolation to be shared on digital/remote platforms. These works should be based on a COVID-19 act of bravery — which we define as something normally routine or usual that has become charged, taboo, or unsafe in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Examples include: shaking hands, hugging, washing your hands for less than 20 seconds, grocery shopping, touching your face, opening social media, offering bodywork, teaching a fitness class, exercising outside, not cancelling an event, attending a non-cancelled event, and more we haven’t thought of.

Please note that these prompts are meant to inspire creative responses and acts of communal care. They are not a suggestion that you directly perform them. We do not advise at this time that you leave self-isolation to make, complete, or share your work. We do not support works including actions that endanger others, and encourage all applicants and participants to abide by WHO & CDC recommendations.

Applications are now closed.

Any questions or issues? Contact us at kate@thepeoplemovers.co or brendandrakechoreography@gmail.com

MONEY & LOGISTICS

Works will be made available starting Monday, March 30th and released throughout quarantine.

We’d love to be able to make these all available for free. But the truth is that artists are some of the hardest hit by the coronavirus. This series is meant to be not only an outlet for creativity and generation, but a means of supporting artists whose livelihoods have been deeply affected by COVID-19.

Each work will be $5 to view, with discounts available for those who purchase multiple works.

Proceeds will be distributed among participating artists as follows:
40% to be split between Brendan and Kate for organizational and creative contributions
60% to be split evenly among all participating artists

Artists will work closely and collaboratively with Kate and Brendan to adapt their work to our digital platform while staying true to their creative integrity.

A note from Kate & Brendan on our Curatorial Process

In addition to opening up this call to the public, we will be reaching out specifically to artists in our community to contribute acts. We selected these artists because their existing body of work is already responding to the themes of our curatorial statement, and/or already uses or responds to the internet/code/digital media.

We anticipate having 8-12 additional spots available after this outreach for artists we may not be already be familiar with, or whose work we already know but aren’t sure if they are compelled to take on this new frame.

We had long and involved conversations around the best way to fairly and transparently navigate an open call. Invitation only felt limited and nepotistic; an entirely open call had the potential to privilege people with access to the systems already in place to respond quickly and easily. As artists ourselves, we have engaged in hundreds of these and have pooled our best and worst experiences to arrive at this system. This system of asking, both personally and widely, felt like the best compromise — as long as we are clear and upfront about how and why we’re doing it.

In the coming weeks, we’ll also be releasing a podcast documenting our process from inception through selection and presentation. If you have any questions or polite and engaged feedback, we welcome you to write to us at kate@thepeoplemovers.co and brendandrakechoreography@gmail.com. We’re still learning and adapting and can’t wait to hear from you.