The Social Distancing Festival | https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/

Social Distancing is now a term which will forever be woven into the fabric of our lives, and the lives of those old enough to understand the changes COVID-19 has brought to society.

The mandate to stay six feet from one another has challenged us to be more mindful of one’s surroundings (and if you’re like me, it’s also taught me I have zero concept of what a foot looks like in real-life).

During social distancing we’re acutely aware of how our own lives are being impacted, and for many of us that means limiting our access to the visual arts. Yes, this is a beautiful time to plumb the depths of our artistic selves and create create create! Some of us may also feel too much pressure to create with new-found time. Some of us may have had art shows we were showing at that are now cancelled. Some of us may have been exhibiting for the first time in a group or solo show, but that’s been cancelled due to the impact of COVID-19.

The Social Distancing Festival is an online festival and community of individuals which showcases work of artists who were impacted by COVID-19. Launched by playwright Nick Green, The Social Distancing Festival has three goals:

  • To help get beautiful pieces of work out into the world, and to share what projects were cancelled due to COVID-19;
  • To continue feeling community within the arts, regardless of that communal spaces emanates from our personal living rooms;
  • To empower artists to engage and collaborate with others while simultaneously celebrating the works of other artists.

The brainchild of Nick Green came to be since Green had his own new musical production cancelled by COVID-19. While understanding and supportive of the call to cancel the production, Green acknowledged the mix of feelings, being torn between the right thing and personal disappointment. Money, time, and energy had been invested for years in the lead-up, and Green recognized that the arts community felt these same shockwaves.

The Social Distancing Festival project was quick to barn-raise and bring the festival platform to life following widespread COVID-19 lockdown measures globally. In a clever and immersive way, The Social Distancing Festival offers ways for artists to showcase their work which didn’t make it to exhibition because of lockdown measures. The Social Distancing Festival likewise offers and accepts new submissions, since word-of-mouth via internet is a now-reliable way to bring visibility to shows and exhibitions which were cancelled. Green’s online festival even supports live streams, collaboration platforms, a donation center for the arts, and even an online Beer Tent.

There is a lot of heartache that comes with your exhibition or production not coming to fruition after a brick-and-mortar establishment accepted these projects. However, Green shows us precisely what’s heartening about the arts community in trying times: the support, the collaboration, and the never-ending creativity we have in each of us.

The Social distancing Festival: https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/

Raleigh Barrett Gallina
Author: Raleigh Barrett Gallina

Raleigh (Barrett) Gallina from LA ART. Raleigh has been writing for the NoHo Arts District since 2015. Raleigh explores everything from large-scale commercial exhibitions to gratis solo exhibitions showcased by amateur galleries. While her preferences are ever-evolving, her favorite exhibitions include large-scale sculpture or paint, as well as artwork which holds socio-cultural underpinnings. She hopes that by capturing a large array of media and voices (including that of curators and the artists themselves), that readers are able to enjoy and voyeur out of their comfort zones.