The covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges around the world. Clearly, our first priority is everyone’s health and well-being, but an important part of this is people’s enjoyment of music and the arts. Concert halls have closed their doors and musicians are unable to work. This creates enormous pressures and challenges as people’s livelihoods are challenged and venues face an uncertain future.
St John’s Smith Square is responding to this challenge by creating the Artist Lab project. Supporters are invited to become an Artist Champion and to help contribute towards a creative solution to the current crisis, providing paid opportunities to musicians and bringing live activity back to the concert hall. St John’s Smith Square has launched an appeal asking supporters to commit to a regular donation which will be used to create an ongoing fund enabling artists to develop work in the concert hall at a time when it would otherwise be dark.
The funds provided by supporters will enable musicians to receive a daily bursary to develop their projects and ideas in the magnificent Baroque setting of St John’s Smith Square: an opportunity to explore, experiment and discover; to forge new partnerships; to create enriching and engaging experiences for audiences in months and years to come. Support from the fund will also cover the core operating cost of St John’s Smith Square for each day that the Artist Lab operates, helping to ensure the venue can sustain itself until concert activity is rebuilt.
Richard Heason, Director of St John’s Smith Square said:
“Being unable to run our ‘normal’ concert activity has left our diary much emptier than usual. This is also the same for a great number of musicians, many of whom have ‘fallen through the cracks’ and have not qualified for the Government’s income support or job retention schemes. Artist Lab is our solution to this situation, bringing work and creative opportunities to artists and bringing live activity back to St John’s.”
Link to Concert Lab Appeal: https://www.sjss.org.uk/become-artist-champion