WASHINGTON, D.C.: Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has announced the launch of Artists Marketplace. The marketplace will connect art, artists, and their artistry directly with patrons, giving patrons the opportunity to commission or purchase work from the artists who have worked with Arena Stage.
“I dreamed up the Artists Marketplace when I realized that despite the pandemic, artists and audience exist, both still hungry for each other,” said deputy artistic director Seema Sueko in a statement. “Our regular delivery system of ‘gather artists, gather audiences, and mix’ is broken, but we can create new delivery systems and new models for regional theatres to serve our communities and earn income for artists now, rather than wait until theatres produce again.”
Initial artists include actors Kate Baldwin, Lise Bruneau, Marsha Mason, Nicholas Rodriguez, Dawn Ursula, and Kirsten Wyatt, musician Victor Simonson, designers Paige Hathaway, Ken MacDonald, and Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, writer Mary Hall Surface, Broadway fight master David S. Leong, fight and intimacy choreographer Jenny Male, voice and dialect coaches Lisa Nathans and Zach Champion, and production department artisans and technicians Deborah Lynn Nash and Timothy M. Thompson. With the marketplace being a dynamic space, Arena Stage will add new artists over time.
The offerings include personal concerts and greetings, original music compositions, one-on-one acting and vocal coaching, custom-made face masks, conflict resolution, custom-designed and performed puppet film of a person’s life, cooking classes, and a song and a writing salon for you and your friends. The marketplace gives people a way to express gratitude, to grieve, and to convey love and support with sentiments tailored to the occasion by artists. To view and learn more about the marketplace, visit the Arena Stage website.
“95 percent of artists nationally have lost work—62 percent have lost all work,” said Arena Stage artistic director Molly Smith in a statement. “Guess which sector of the arts has lost all work? Yes — theatre artists. Seema’s brilliant brainstorm of an idea provides a way for audiences to support artists and for artists to earn money to live. We work with extraordinary artists — come aboard and help support them through purchasing their art through experiences and objects.”