How to Contribute to the Black Lives Matter Movement as an Artist
A powerful, collective voice is echoing across the world. Civil, Social, and Racial injustices must end and it is our job to aid in this battle. Since the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement has gained more traction than ever, built on the blood, sweat, and tears of individuals acting in solidarity.
The BLM movement, thus, requires consistent support, and you can get involved in many ways. Politics is not our concern in this article – instead, we want to tell you how to support your peers, fellow musicians, and neighbors. We cannot stand silent.
Today’s post will cover different ways that you can get involved in the cause.
Use Your Voice (IRL and on Social Media)
Humans are social creatures by nature. Whether our friend group consists of thousands, hundreds, dozens, or a handful of people, we have a circle of people with whom we talk. Our circle confides in us, and we confide in it, giving our words considerable weight.
Now is the time to use that power as a means to promote awareness and solidarity during the Black Lives Matter protests. Use your platform of choice to spread current protest updates, petitions, and voting opportunities. Tell everyone about your favorite black-owned restaurants and bookstores they can support. Share literature on social and racial awareness, black culture, and anything that can keep your circle informed.
One way to stand with others who are fighting is to attend protests. In the United States, there are protests happening countrywide. Research different protests and make sure to double check that they are legitimate protests. There have been fake protests set up by white supremacists groups and ones set up as a means to arrest protestors; so put in some time before attending to ensure that you are attending an actual protest.
Here are a couple of guides if you plan on attending:
Amnesty International: Safety During Protest: https://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/SafeyDuringProtest_F.pdf
The Observer: Protest Guide:
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Money speaks volumes, especially as of late. If you can, make monetary contributions to BLM-aligned organizations, fundraisers, and charities. At the end of this blog post is a list of resources, including charities and organizations, to which, you can donate.
Make sure your money is not funding companies with racist sentiments. Do some research and boycott establishments that oppose the cause. Giving them money is siding with injustice.
Dedicate (a percentage of) your music-related profit towards BLM-related causes. I will leave the percentage up to you but give what you can. Put your digital music and merch on sale and announce to fans that proceeds go towards a BLM-aligned charity.
Get Your Fans to Donate. Tell them that you will match donations (up to a certain amount).
Perform a Benefit Concert (Live stream)
Plan a live stream for the near future. Give yourself enough time to promote it. Announce to fans that you will be accepting donations. Pick a BLM-oriented fund or organization (recommendations below). Make sure to let fans know where their donations are going.
Another option is to create a call to action. Here’s an example:
“We’re giving away our latest release on vinyl to 2 lucky winners. How to enter: Donate at least $10 to a charity or fund related to the Black Lives Matter movement and send us a picture of your receipt. We will announce the winners during the concert.”
Invite other musicians and their musician friends to play sets, as well. Put together a big relief concert with several acts, just like a standard in-person concert. Twitch.tv offers hosting for streamers to broadcast back-to-back using the same twitch channel, making a multi-performer concert a much more seamless experience.
Do Not Stop Participating
Please, take into account that this is not a trend. Momentum will be lost and people’s voices will quiet down at points, but do not let this influence you. Change is going to take time to achieve, and participation is the most instrumental aspect of keeping this change moving forward. If you need to take a break, take it. When you are done, get back to supporting.
This website below offers ways to help. It features a variety of petitions to sign, places to donate, areas where protests are happening, and resources to educate oneself about systemic racism and ways to be of service to the cause.
Here is a list of 135 different methods to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Afrorack is an arts organization that provides modular synthesis education for young people of color in Chicago. Afrorack founder, Aaron Guice, created Afrorack as a means to make modular synthesis accessible for young people of color, regardless of socioeconomic standing.
Since 2013, Six Square has been a space of cultural vitality for the black community in Austin, Texas. They work to preserve culturally significant pieces of Austin’s city and history.
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