‘Here the arts are freezing…’

A video that says more than my post yesterday about why I am raising funds to help musicians during the loss of live concerts and gatherings.  Please watch, I know the lighting is still terrible and I’m still in my dressing gown, but it’s all heartfelt!

The quotation in the title of this post is from the 16th century: it’s from a letter from the humanist scholar Erasmus to his friend Sir Thomas More, in which he introduces the painter Hans Holbein to him and asks him to find him work in England, because the Reformation is bringing a loss of opportunities to artists in Germany and Switzerland.  500 years on, the arts are freezing again, because of COVID-19 and the lack of a government response to the financial needs of independent artists and investment in the arts generally.  Watch the video for more!

Please consider giving £5 to my fundraiser – and if you can’t (and I know some can’t!), then please share the Ko-Fi link listed below.

Here are some links:

The article about the letter to the UK government signed by 400 people across the arts.

My fundraiser through Ko-Fi to give a small amount to musicians.

And below the graphic by musician Jon Wilks, mentioned in the video, showing ways that you can help – I also mention subscribing to their YouTube channels, the video explains how that helps.

help musicians jon wilks

Buy a musician a coffee! #MusicMatters

Morning all.  I was going to post a video, but it was too awful, so you are spared!

I have set up a Ko-Fi account to support musicians at this difficult time.  Gigging/touring musicians have lost their livelihoods and their way of life: all their gigs have been cancelled, including summer festivals, and so they have lost their main income stream.  It’s not just about money – they have lost their way of life too, virtually overnight – but it means they are struggling financially, without any sense of when they might be able to give live concerts again.  Some are doing live streams, but that is not for everyone, and even for those who are doing them it won’t replace more than a fraction of their income.  And for others, it’s something they feel very uncomfortable with – a gig is an encounter with a live audience, not just sitting in a room playing to a camera.

Even when the rest of us start to go back to places of work, social distancing may be in place for quite some time to come, so it could be next year before gatherings such as concerts can take place again.  Many musicians fall through the cracks of government provision, even for self-employed people.

So this is a start in terms of helping.  Initially I want to give something to the musicians whose gigs I had to cancel at the Tree House: seven gigs in all, involving ten musicians.

The way Ko-Fi works is that you donate the price of a cup of coffee (though I have set it at two cups, surely they deserve that!), though you can buy them as many cups of coffee as you like.  (It’s not real coffee.)  I have set the initial target at £1000, to donate something to these ten musicians; when that has been reached, I will help others.  Every time we reach £50 I will give it to one of the musicians and do that twice, then move on to giving a bit to others.  It’s a tiny thing, but all I can do financially at the moment – and the more we raise, the more I can give!

So if you love music, and especially if you have enjoyed live music at the Tree House and would like it to happen again in the future, please donate if you can, and if you can’t (I know it’s hard for lots of people!), please share the link.  There is a button on the right hand side of the home page here for anyone who visits the website.

These are our musicians (one has said they have a full time job and doesn’t need their share) – we have a gig in June that looks likely to be cancelled as well as these:

Samantha Whates

MG Boulter

Wes Finch

Burning Salt

Tobias ben Jacob

John Elliott (The Little Unsaid)

Ruth Angell and Sid Peacock

Jenny Sturgeon

#MusicMatters #brokenrecord


Kenilworth Reads: let’s get reading!

I have chosen a book for us all to read together.  Of course you don’t have to live in Kenilworth to join in!  The video is over-exposed again, will sort out the lighting, and may even get dressed next time…  The book I have chosen is The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly.  Watch the video for more info!