Theatre fraternity pleads with Mzansi to help raise funds for struggling artists
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As the country continues to fight the scourge of the Covid-19 pandemic, the arts and entertainment industry is falling deeper into severe financial straits.
With the industry at a virtual standstill and performance venues indefinitely closed, many creative artists across the country have been struggling to make ends meet.
While some got employment when lockdown restrictions were lifted others have had no work since March last year, when the national lockdown was enforced.
Joburg based Noah’s Art, conceptualised and operated by eight theatre and dance professionals worked together to raise funds for food parcels and food vouchers for struggling artists.
Theatre practitioners Vicky Friedman, Lorri Strauss, Shelley Meskin, Talia Kodesh, Caryn Katz, Sharon Spiegel-Wagner and Hannah Rudnicki with choreographer David Matamela could not stand by and watch their colleagues starve.
They formed Noah’s Art – an initiative that aims to collect food and donations to assist performing artists who are unemployed, without income and without means to survive.
“This is an unprecedented crisis of enormous proportions throughout the country and Noah’s Art team are trying to help feed as many performers as possible during this difficult time,” said Friedman.
Noah’s Art has distributed 1 900 grocery vouchers to performers and their families in Soweto, Orange Farm, Joburg, Alexandra, Cape Town, Durban and Gqeberha.
“Many in our industry have lost their homes, cars, furniture, musical instruments and equipment. Some rely on relatives for food and a roof over their heads.
“There are talented performing arts professionals and crew members dealing with the issues of unemployment, malnutrition, homelessness, the loss of loved ones and nowhere to turn,” Friedman says.
The “Chicago” star shared that an artist with whom she was in a show had to hospitalise his 8-year-old daughter due to malnutrition.
“Please consider helping Noah’s Art to help those whose cry is no longer an onstage performance, now they literally cry for food,” Friedman says.
The team at Noah’s Art insists that they do not receive any financial benefit nor payment instead they “willingly give of their time and the caring passion in their hearts” to keep our artists afloat.
The organisation is urging South Africans who are able to assist with financial aid to help raise funds to feed unemployed artists and their families.