‘Artists are Essential’ – Kingston Arts Council urges support for artists

·3 min read

Kingston Arts Council (KAC) is asking the Kingston community to support artists during this long pandemic, and beyond.

The organization says the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the global community, and its impact on our arts sector has been extensive and heartbreaking.

Over the last year, Kingston’s artists – despite their own struggles, anxieties and hardships – have stepped up to offer their neighbours virtual dance parties and porch-side plays, art kits delivered to doorsteps, and plexiglassed performances, online concerts and Instagram poetry, KAC said in a press release on Monday, Mar. 1, 2021.

KAC says these offerings of expression, reflection, connection, and conversation have uplifted spirits and helped to heal our continually breaking hearts.

“As always, our artists have been here for us,” KAC said in the release. “And now, Kingston, we’re looking to you to be here for our artists. They need your support.”

Artists have always been essential for our community’s well-being, and they will be essential for our recovery, the organization said.

ASK your artist friends and neighbours how they are doing and how you can help. Get to know Kingston’s amazing creative community.

ENGAGE with Kingston’s artists by searching #ygkarts on social media. Follow, share, subscribe, comment, and show them some love!

BUY local art if you have the means to do so. Attend virtual performances and film screenings, purchase books by Kingston authors and poets, take online classes and workshops, buy and enjoy local music, and give Kingston-made art and crafts as gifts. (Join KAC Executive Director Kirsi in her commitment to only purchase or make local art as gifts in 2021, and use the hashtag #onlyygkarts to share what you give and receive!)

VISIT our local galleries and arts retailers, when it is safe to do so. Check out the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning’s comprehensive guide of Kingston’s art galleries and other places to enjoy and purchase the incredible work of our local artists: https://www.tettcentre.org/blog/showcasing-your-artwork-locally

LEARN about how artists are faring in the pandemic and envisioning the future of the arts by taking a look at these recent survey results and viewing the insightful and inspiring artist presentations from our December 4 Essential Arts event.

READ about the Basic Income movement to learn how a Basic Income program would help artists and other precarious workers, and consider signing the petition in support of Bill C-273, Canada’s first Basic Income bill.

EMAIL Kingston’s MP Mark Gerretsen and MPP Ian Arthur to voice your concerns, support, and ideas for how our governments can better support artists.

REACH OUT to the Kingston Arts Council to learn more about how you can help.

“Artists are relentless, necessary, cooperative, awesome, important, undervalued, underpaid, the future, inspiring, the force, indomitable, together, transformative, cute, resourceful, talented, determined, scrappy, amazing, resilient, vital, brave, full of surprises and ESSENTIAL…

…and artists need your support,” said KAC.

Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com