A Covid-19 Statement from us at POPArt…
The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating on the live performance industry, and therefore for everyone who uses the space provided by POPArt as a conduit to create work and economy, as well as find a sense of community. It is for this reason that POPArt has had to respond to the crisis in the form of creating and facilitating work on digital platforms where we believe we can make the most immediate and vital impact.
While we will always be a ‘theatre first’ brand, we believe that the moment has provided us with an opportunity to branch out into and experiment with alternative mediums of storytelling – while keeping the safety of our artists and our audiences top of mind. POPArt has always filled the role of creating access points and economic opportunities for artists at all levels as well as connect artists to an audience. Our response has thus been to attempt to re-imagine our role in a digital space by bridging the gaps between performing arts and digital platforms, and at the same time guiding artists towards economic viability in a new medium.
In summary, our response has been to create a digital platform where artists can experiment, present, advertise and monetise products that they have created in the virtual realm, as well as small scale safe POPArt live events that will be available in broadcast format for our more vulnerable audience members. Additionally, we have created the #ForTheHustle Online store, where enterprising performing artists who have turned to other forms of production to generate income can sell their products. The building of the POPArt Online Platform been grateful supported by the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture of South Africa.
Art remains, as ever, an essential service to society. In this moment, we have been shown the value of community and the collective as well as the ability of stories in all their forms to entertain us and aid us in processing shifting landscapes. The challenges of bringing live art to the public have always been extraordinary, and we hope that, through the challenge of the moment, we find new solutions toward a better future when we are able to return to the communion of the theatre.
As for planning for the future, POPArt will continue to create work, platforms and opportunities that are responsive to our environment and current reality. We believe that digital storytelling will remain part of our offering, even as we transition back into theatre spaces.
As for our physical theatre space, we look forward to fundraising for and re-building a new space at a more appropriate moment. In the meantime, we are delighted to partner with our friends at venues throughout Johannesburg to begin to imagine small scale POPArt pop-ups.
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