What does that even mean? Or, better still, what type of support are we even talking about?
I find myself asking this question quite frequently. It might have something to do with the fact that this pandemic has shaken up the world in an unprecedented way – or at least in a way that at least two generations haven’t ever experienced. And the general feeling I get from my fellow artists all around Europe is one of uncertainty and unease. No wonder – who knows what the future of the performing arts will look like?
Sadly though, the answer to this question is almost every time: financial support.
No doubt, this is a massive aspect of every artist’s life. It would be wonderful to be able to live off your own work. But the reality is, as most of you already know, quite the opposite. There is only a minority of artists that don’t have to take on full-time jobs or several part-time jobs – in domains that are not even related to their field – to make ends meet. I am one of those. Fortunately, I am very grateful to have a job that allows me to work on my theatre projects and is flexible & understanding enough to let me do it. But I have been on the other side of the spectrum too, working 3-4 part-time jobs to be able to pay rent and cover my food on a monthly basis. And the stress of it all led me to…shall we say not very good places. So, yes, financial support is crucial.
Is that all we artists resume to? Aren’t there more important matters? I personally found that speaking and being listened to were as important, if not more, than any financial support. Because, at the end of the day, what drives one’s art is the strong will, the passion, the vision and the creative juices which fuel our work. We continue our work, despite the financial circumstances involved. So why not focus on those moments which are like a balm to our little creative souls? A conversation with a friend? A constructive debate with a fellow artist? A passionate discussion about the vision and dreams of a collaborative project, regardless if it will materialise or not? A VOICE that represents these artists and their work?
Not trying to fall into a nostalgia mode, but I think it is worth mentioning how remarkably well the artists of the early 20th century worked together. As a collective, their shared artistic platform saw the blossoming of wonderful works of art, interdependent and collaborative projects and the creation of shared collective memories.
Prompted by the above and following a strong urge to become a platform to represent emerging artists, earlier this year I started a campaign on my Facebook page, BENEDEK Productions. This campaign sees itself as the voice for these European artists. No matter from what artistic background they are, if their work is an asset to any of their clients/customers, their work is worth promoting! It doesn’t hurt to be good and spread kindness, and this is one of the aims of this campaign too.
It doesn’t cost a thing to share and help them reach wider audiences.
Key Words: cultural platform; support; artists; creative campaign; collective memory