April 2020 – Arts InFocus Newsletter

ARTS InFocus

April 2020

Each month, ArtsGreensboro brings you stories about artists, arts
organizations, and individuals whose lives are infused with creativity.

Join us in celebrating our vibrant city.

Copy of KateMTobey1

I’m a maker of music, stories, and spaces. For me, creativity is a way to connect with people. Most of my life I’ve worked in journalism, branded content, and innovation. From building an award-winning creative studio to leading video and emerging platforms production at The Washington Post to driving innovative experiences and design at Cone Health— I’ve found that creative ideas, empathy, and experimentation are usually a pretty magical combo. Music has always been my soul food, and the artistic people I’m surrounded by in the Greensboro area bring me to life in so many ways. I sing and play violin professionally alongside wonderful musicians and started a creative group that uses human-centered design to create experiences through art and storytelling that connect people and make us all happy. We believe if we work together to fuel our creative culture, we can help transform our city from the inside out.

Like so many of you, the creative culture I love is hurting right now. The new normal that has descended upon us came from a force beyond our control, but we can meet it with a force of our own—one fueled by love and creativity. We’re reaching out for help and connection; we’re pushing our own boundaries and we’re reimagining how we share our craft with the world. I’ve found myself co-hosting and performing virtual concerts with community partners like Little Brother Brewing and finding new ways to create music and content remotely with fellow musicians from here to Puerto Rico. These are among countless creative ways artists are now performing, teaching and engaging with you from a social distance.



My next project will focus on teaming up to create experiences that empathize with the health care workers, food providers, city services professionals, and the many people who are going to bat for all of us, day after day, during this crisis. Even if it’s in the smallest of ways, I hope art can support our collective healing. 

A renowned improv musician once told me that originality and innovation often emerge from embracing your limitations. Isolation is hard and it’s also a privilege I hope to harness into small moments of good between people who really need them.  

Please continue to support the front-line workers who are keeping our communities safe. Please also consider supporting the creative artists in our communities by donating to ArtsGreensboro’s Artist Emergency Relief Fund, tuning in for virtual concerts/tipping, purchasing original music/art/merch, and just reaching out to let them know you care. 

You can follow Kate on social media at:

@katemtobey / @theplatformgso

Online at:

 katemtobey.com / theplatformgso.com




(Kate Tobey is a current Board Member of ArtsGreensboro.)

ARTS HAPPENING: Art in the Digital World


“With society in isolation – the arts are needed more than ever to remind people they are not alone, that we can still dream, escape our current realities and engage our imaginations in building a better world for tomorrow.” Guy Armitage, Zealous 

To engage and inspire during this time of self-isolation and social distancing, artists and arts organizations have stepped up into the virtual world. In fact, #MuseumMomentofZen launched an international campaign encouraging museums to feature artworks creating a calm environment. Livestreamed performances include Yo-Yo Ma and his “Songs of Comfort”, The Philadelphia Orchestra performing for over half a million viewers at home, and a virtual dance party by DJ D-Nice  that rocked the house for over 160,000 Instagram live viewersIt is during unprecedented times that the arts are a conduit to our humanity. We’ve seen the best of it right here in Greensboro – live streaming concerts, downloadable coloring pages and daily “art at home” projects, artist talks, music performances, virtual singalongs and dance lessons. Triad Stage, GreenHill Center for NC Art, Royal Expressions Contemporary Ballet, and The Center for Visual Artists, are all providing engaging art experiences through their digital channels. In addition, the North Carolina Folk Festival is “jamming” with a free NC Folkfest Performer Compilation playlist on SpotifyTake some time to check-in for a moment of daily art inspiration and share with your family and friends. Remember that we often take things (and people) for granted, until they are no longer around. Keep the arts alive and thriving! 



“Creativity takes courage”, Henri Matisse. 

In moments of stress and uncertainty, the arts are where we find inspiration, hope, and guidance. The COVID-19 outbreak has undoubtedly had a devastating impact on our region’s arts and culture industry

During this challenging time, ArtsGreensboro is concentrating all efforts in providing support to our local artists and arts organizations. On March 16th we launched the Greensboro Artists Emergency Relief Fund. All proceeds from this campaign are directed to working professional artists living in the Greater Greensboro area who have lost income through event cancellations and venue closings. Through the relief fund, artists will be able to quickly access funds to recoup financial losses due to cancelled events to assist with rent, food, and other needs. One artist remarked, “This is supposed to be the busiest time for musicians in the area. The money allows us to survive.”   

The current crisis caused by COVID-19 has impacted our region’s artists in a profound way. With the cancellation of events and gigs to reduce the spread of the virus, artists who make their income partially or fully through gigs and freelance work are losing essential revenue, creating the perfect storm of economic hardship. According to a 2018 survey conducted by Small Business Trends, 60% of artists who responded were earning less than half the average American household. Artists have always been inventive in putting together a mosaic of income streams to make a living, from being a barista to teaching classes.  

In addition, President + CEO Laura Way is working with outside professionals to provide guidance to artists and arts organizations on how to access funding and relief through the CARES Act. ArtsGreensboro is dedicated to our mission of elevating, amplifying, and supporting Greensboro’s arts community. Our sincere gratitude to those who have contributed to help our local artists. We are stronger united! 


For more information on how to support the relief fund, at any level, visit artsgreensboro.org/ or text ARTSGSO to 44-321.  



One of the many important roles of an arts council is advocating for the arts. Arts advocacy is about educating and informing elected officials, the public, and the media about the importance of the performing and visual arts. It is up to us artists, administrators, and audience members, to explain the value and impact of the arts to lawmakers. The last few weeks are a perfect example of how crucial advocacy is for the survival of our arts economy. In response to the global crisis, Americans for the Arts quickly began surveying the economic impact of the coronavirus within our creative industry. And in just two weeks, more than 8,000 organizations provided detailed data and their impact. The survey shows 93% of organizations have had to cancel events with total lost attendance of more than 53 million people with the estimated loss of income at $3.6 billion. Americans for the Arts shared with Congress the details of the survey results and made specific legislative requests to prevent the collapse of the arts and culture industry in America.  As a result of the measurable impact of the pandemic, the government signed into law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), a historic $2 Trillion pandemic relief package that will help arts nonprofits who are struggling as well as artists and arts workers who are unemployed as a result of COVID-19. This law will provide forgivable Small Business Administration loans for struggling non-profit arts organizations and independent artists, as well as $75 million of emergency funding available through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).  We’re so appreciative of the leadership of organizations such as Arts North Carolina and Americans for the Arts for their continued dedication to the arts.


For a detailed summary on the CARES Act or for additional resources for artists and arts organizations, please visit artsnc.org.And to support our local arts community in the greater Greensboro area or to apply for the Greensboro Artist Emergency Relief Fund, please visit artsgreensboro.org.

ArtsGreensboro Logo

ArtsGreensboro is dedicated to elevating the arts by creating awareness and promoting the vibrancy of our city; amplifying the impact the arts have in building strong and thriving communities for all citizens; and supporting arts organizations, artists, and teachers through grants, shared services, and technical assistance. For more information visit artsgreensboro.org

Ways to Give:
 Text ARTSGSO to 44-321
 Give online at artsgreensboro.org
 Mail a check to: ArtsGreensboro PO Box 877 Greensboro NC 27402

“Creative individuals are the lifeblood of our community’s vibrancy – bringing joy, beauty, and meaning to places, events, and programs all around us every day. ArtsGreensboro’s artist emergency relief fund provides us the opportunity to acknowledge the meaningful contributions these folks make to our community and to say ‘thank you’ with a gift that helps defray the disproportionate financial impact they are experiencing due to the temporary closure of events and gathering places. Please consider contributing, as you are able, to this important fund that will help keep Greensboro Creative!” 

– Ryan Deal, Chief Creative Economy Officer, Office of Arts & Culture, City of Greensboro  


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