Times of crisis can act as a stimulus for the creative spirit. COVID-19 is no exception.
Spending more time in his home office, Mile Two VP of Engineering and Code for Dayton co-Captain Dave Best really began to notice his bare walls. Our #DaytonStrong resilience has been demonstrated by our giving to the COVID-19 fund at The Dayton Foundation to our support for our essential workers, from healthcare to those working in grocery and drug stores to those delivering our mail and packages. Many Daytonians have made an extra effort to support our local restaurants by ordering carry-out or delivery, or purchasing growlers of locally-brewed craft beer. Musicians, on their own or through venues like The Old Yellow Cab, have set up virtual concerts where the audience can donate online.
After staring at the walls, the obvious question was “What about our visual artists”? Aren’t they essential to helping bring beauty and meaning to our lives? How can the community help support them at a time when the studios, galleries, coffee shops and restaurants where they typically show their work are closed?
I have known Dave 5+ years. He reached out to me last Friday because on my connections in the art community and because The Collaboratory’s reputation for incubating projects from ideas to action. He wanted to know if I thought it was feasible. I said hell yes and jumped right in.
The idea behind Essential Artists Dayton is to offer a FREE (at least through May 30) platform for Dayton visual artists to set up an online storefront. And by FREE, we mean 100% of sales, less any processing charges, goes to the artists. In addition to putting this out to my artists friends and the major artist organization, I specifically reached out to artist Megan Fiely. We met when she came back to town, but really connect when she started raising Tornado Relief funds from the local community of artists. She have been helpful in the co-creation process, beta testing the storefront set-up and getting the word out.
All art purchased through Essential Artists Dayton will be available for pick-up at The Collaboratory, Monday – Friday from 10 AM to 4 PM or by appointment. The exchange will be made while practicing appropriate social distancing. The Collaboratory is located at 114 West First Street, Suite B, in Talbott Tower.