If you’ve attended a UUCF worship service, concert, play, open mic night or ARTspeaks gallery opening you know the impact of the arts on our spiritual lives. Music and the arts sustain us in spiritual practice but also deepen our connection to inner worlds as a vehicle for profound expression.
With that said, even in the best of times, being an artist is not easy, and the pandemic has turned difficult into desperate for singers, musicians, actors, visual artists and others whose livelihoods depend on bringing audiences together or showing their work.
To help support and sustain the DC-area artistic community in this time of great challenge, UUCF’s Music & Arts Team and staff have collaborated on a special online “telethon.” This Saturday, Nov. 21, 7-10 p.m., UUCF will present Showing Up! Artists Banding Together for Artists, a livestreamed extravaganza! This online telethon, available on Facebook Live and YouTube, will combine a non-stop, all-star lineup of live hosts, pre-recorded video performances and surprise guests – all to raise money for performing and visual artists in need in the DC area.
Although originally conceived as a fundraiser for local artists in need, Showing Up! has quickly drawn support from national touring performers in addition to DC, Virginia and Maryland-area stars of pop, jazz, folk, opera and classical music, as well as spoken word and visual artists. We are thrilled to have confirmed the participation of national recording artists Peter Mayer, Emma’s Revolution, Glen Thomas Rideout and Woven Green, alongside DC-area favorites Wendel Werner, Lea Morris, and Osa the Healer from Sanctuaries DC.
Showing Up! has also secured commitments from renowned classical pianists Allen Shawn, brother of actor Wallace Shawn, former UUCF pianist Catalin Dima and international violin star Andrew Finn Magill. We’ve been blown away by the response from artists across the country. It’s hard to imagine bringing together all these amazing performers in one place before the pandemic, but literally everyone we asked said “Yes!”
Throughout the evening, viewers will be able to make online donations through PayPal and Square or by texting the words “UUFairfax Showing Up” to the numbers 73256. All of these donations will go to Vox Corona, a local nonprofit that has been supporting struggling artists whose income has been affected by COVID-19. You’ll also be able to support individual artists during their performances through “virtual tip jars” and Venmo or PayPal links.
Unitarian Universalism is a faith tradition that values wholeness through a variety of forms of expression. Understanding the need for the expression of the human condition through the arts is a foundational practice for our tradition and for our congregation. With deep gratitude for the many artists who have given of their talents to enrich our collective spirits, and with so many performing and visual artists hit hard by the pandemic, the UUCF community is honored to be organizing to show its appreciation and support. We hope you will join us this Saturday for this truly unique event.