Social isolation is inspiring artists, authors, performers and teachers to move to virtual reality where like minds can unite and inspire each other.Inland 360 will join them by publishing streaming events to bring the arts to the community during this period of social isolation.
Events can be uploaded to our online calendar at inland360.com or emailed to us at email@example.com.
Events uploaded to the website will be listed online for free, and we will consider printing them in our free print edition. Keep in mind our deadlines: Information is due by noon Monday for Thursday’s edition. If you think your event would make a good story, please let us know further in advance so we can plan coverage.
The moment it became clear this month that there would not be an audience for open mic night at One World Cafe in Moscow, David Harlan began looking for alternatives.
“Moscow (Virtual) Open Mic Night,” taking place Friday on YouTube Live, is what one alternative might look like in the coming weeks as musicians, performers and others turn to streaming platforms to reach people isolated at home because of COVID-19 precautions.
The “virtual” open mic will feature people live on stage at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre in Moscow, interspersed with remote performances by musicians and others around the country, broadcast live online.
“I am pretty sure it is going to work, I hope it works — it could break. We’re all learning all of this stuff,” Harlan said. “I think what’s so cool is how many people are making the effort to figure this out, and that’s pretty special.”
Harlan, a UI instructor and founder of Moscow Art Theatre (Too), organizes One World Cafe’s open mic, which takes place the last Friday of each month. He wanted to use the Kenworthy to livestream the open mic because he thought it would provide the best sound and setting for the stage performers. He worked with Christine Gilmore, the Kenworthy’s executive director, to come up with a plan aligning with COVID-19 safety guidelines. There will be a maximum of eight people in the building at any time, he said. That includes him, a couple tech staff and the live performers. Live acts will last 20 minutes and will be followed by 10-minute-long remote acts. This will provide time to sanitize the stage and swap out performers, he said.
“We’ve asked performers to be smart about it; if they have any symptoms at all, I prefer they not come,” he said.
Harlan chose YouTube Live to broadcast the event because it’s a proven, robust streaming platform that offers a high-quality picture, he said. Remote performers will connect to the event through various platforms they use, like Google Hangouts, Skype and Zoom. The quality of those performances could vary, depending on the service they use, he said.
“The technology is great — if we have bandwidth issues, we have bandwidth issues, that’s the potential variable,” Harlan said.
The night kicks off with Brittany Brook, a UI theater alum and up-and-coming singer-songwriter based in New York City. Brook will be in New York when Harlan broadcasts her set. Other remote performers are Nick Spear, an acoustic artist based in Montana, and Kate Carroll De Gutes, a national award-winning nonfiction writer who lives in Portland. Stand-up comedy and area musicians will fill the rest of the show, including the Moscow band Two Point Oh, led by Kelsey Chapman.
Even if people don’t watch the entire event, Harlan hopes people will tune in for a while and show their support in audience numbers. He plans to do more live streaming events, including a three-person play, in the coming weeks.
“I hope it’s just one more thing people can do that is less isolating than what we’re going through,” he said.
Harlan invites people to share their viewing experience with him at firstname.lastname@example.org so he knows what worked well and what didn’t.
WHAT: “Moscow (Virtual) Open Mic Night.”
WHEN: 7-9:30 p.m. Friday.
WHERE: YouTube Live at https://bit.ly/VirtualMicMoscow.