Art and gender and oppression and pandemic

Photo of my wedding for
absolutely no reason other than
I was looking at old photos.
I'm worried. That's nothing new; I'm always worried. I'm also angry and bitter and angry for others and annoyed by others. It feels like so many artists have struggled for so long, and in the slightly-more-egalitarian arts-world that was brought to us by the internet, there was room for non-wealthy people to have some level of success or at least have a small platform or middle class artist life.

Coronavirus is knocking those climbers right back down to where we started, which is to say that now, only the independently wealthy can afford to be artists. That means we are going to hear art and stories from mainly white men with patrons. Lesser known artists -- and those of us who are primary caregivers for small children -- are falling to the wayside.

There is some hope out there that some of those white men with platforms will help amplify the voices of others rather than rolling in the spotlight themselves, but it's a crapshoot. I see more artists than ever actually trying to use their powers for good, but I am also feeling left out of the fold because: I am a mother. (And you wonder why I kept my second pregnancy secret!)

I've found that mothers have had their voices particularly squashed, especially in weird pandemic times that are forcing families to revert to single-income households. Which family member quits their jobs when childcare is unavailable? The lower-earners: primarily women.

Anyway, this is a blog, not a well-reasoned essay. It's just the thoughts that keep me up at night.

I was excited for a while, as women and other artists who have experienced oppression are more likely to share the spotlight and amplify voices of Black artists, disabled artists, poor artists, women artist, LGBTQ artists, and more. It felt as if lockdown had leveled the playing field... we all had to perform from our homes.

But then we started to see quickly that homes are not all equal. Some artists have $10k microphones. Some have home studios. Hell, some have homes.  

I'd like to donate a USB microphone to an artist out there who needs one. I can't level the playing field on my own, especially when I'm typing one-handed from an 11-year-old laptop while wearing a shoulder sling, but I can offer a small piece of gear that would make it easier for an artist with fewer advantages to tell their story and share their art.

Tag an artist who might be in need? Or maybe better to privately send me a message with names of folks in need? I'd like to raise the funds to help others tell their stories.

We need to hear all kind of art these days; not just white men.

I'm in a sling for a while, but I'm anxious to get back in front of the camera and connect. When's good tonight? I might pop online and see if I can do a live-stream with my left hand and loud voice. Maybe my four-year-old can strum while i play chord changes of the guitar...

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