NEW YORK CITY: In response to the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Obie-winning downtown mainstay HERE is announcing several free online programming activities designed to uplift audiences during these challenging times. These programs include #stillHERE, a weekly Livestream featuring a HERE artist who invites viewers to share in the creation of new work; HERE@HOME, a weekly watch party that streams full-length productions previously presented at HERE; and #COVIDEO, a sequential, community-built work of video art that is led by HERE artists and staff, and that the public is invited to participate in.
Said HERE’s founding artistic director, Kristin Marting, in a statement, “We’re living in unprecedented times, where isolation is not only encouraged, but necessary to survive. Yet in these dark times, we need the singular humanity and uplifting grace that only live art can provide and the community that gathers to celebrate it. Our hope is that these online artistic endeavors help all of us come together at a time when the world seems to be pushing us apart.”
#stillHERE kicks off today, March 20, at 1 p.m., with MacArthur fellow and HERE resident playwright Taylor Mac. #stillHERE is a short, informal visit with an artist streamed live on Facebook each Friday at 1 p.m. HERE’s community of artists will share live updates, readings, and previews of new works. Participating artists include playwright Sara Farrington on March 27, with additional artists to be announced at a later date.
With HERE@HOME, HERE cracks open their vault of archived videos. Airing Wednesday at 7 p.m. on Facebook, HERE@HOME will feature recordings of full-length productions previously presented at HERE including Stairway to Stardom, an “absorbing and suggestive” (Time Out New York) dance-theatre work by Amanda Szeglowski for her company cakeface, on March 25; Looking at You, a techno-noir opera by Kamala Sankaram, Rob Handel, and Kristin Marting on April 1; Thomas Paine in Violence, an electro-acoustic opera-sermon by Paul Pinto on April 8; Arias with a Twist, the New York Times critic’s pick collaboration between Joey Arias and Basil Twist, on April 15; City Council Meeting, a participatory performance work about democracy and power by Aaron Landsman, on April 22; and Nick Lehane’s puppet play Chimpanzee on April 29. Following their online premieres, these full-length videos will be available for viewing on Facebook until HERE reopens for live public performances.
#COVIDEO is a sequential community-built video of art-making in the time of the coronavirus—a kind of videographic version of the exquisite corpse game. A community of artists and audiences will come together to independently create 10 seconds of video art. Each day, one section will be created in response to the previous 10 seconds. After 10 days, they will be strung together into one video that will be released on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Inaugural themes include social distancing and flattening the curve. Community participation is encouraged and interested individuals can email email@example.com to secure a slot.