March 12, 2021
While we will be processing and unpacking the effects of "the lost year" for a long time to come, the time has also come to plan forward in some fashion. It is likely Andrew will do some outdoor solo performances around the mid-Atlantic this summer, but we're cautiously looking at autumn for a limited return to the road - most likely to the northeast, but perhaps also across the Rust Belt. Whatever we wish to do for indoor, listening room performances like we did in the past, their viability will depend on the willingness of audiences to attend. Health concerns may still be a critical factor, though in theory the vaccines should be making it safe to resume attending small theaters and house concerts by then.
What is clear is that livestream performances are here to stay, and that is a good thing. There will always be downsides to interactive broadcast versus in-person energy, but live-streaming changes the bottom line for artists simply by taking travel largely out of the equation for at least that show. So whatever else happens, we will continue doing at least one livestream concert a month - some will be free with donations gratefully accepted, and others will be ticketed. We learned a lot about doing it well in 2020 and got some critical tools, but most importantly the world learned how to participate. For older people who don't like to drive at night, the homebound, and the geographically far removed, this has been a deep and powerful source of connection for artist and audience.
We are planning to market some prerecorded livestreams, both keynote presentations and library programs. For eligible Virginia-based presenters, these can also take advantage of our Virginia Commission for the Arts funding for reimbursement of up to 50% of the performance fee.
All of that said, we are starting to think about the physical touring too, and we'd love your input. Might you be ready to host a house concert? Is your local small theater or library thinking about programming in-person adult events this upcoming autumn? Please do reach out to them; just connecting the dots with an email introduction between us is greatly appreciated and often the key to making an event happen in your community.
Whatever is coming, it's coming sooner than later. We are ready to make the most of it, to meet you where you are comfortable, and to bring the songs, stories and projects to new listeners. Thanks for helping us build "the Phoenix"!