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Arts & Culture
This article was excerpted from Tapestry, a weekly newsletter that examines the arts and entertainment world in Charlotte and North Carolina.

Charlotte Music Challenge Aims To Help Local Venues Hurt By Coronavirus Closings

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@britdrozda
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Last month, Brit Drozda had to cancel her show scheduled for Amos’ Southend. The singer-songwriter was sick – not COVID-19, don’t worry – and she says it was the first time she’s ever had to back out of a show for health reasons.

She rescheduled for the end of March. But, as you undoubtedly know, the world sort of fell apart before that show could happen. 

So Drozda had an idea.

And Wednesday night, from the comfort of her own home and her Instagram Live channel @britdrozda, she told about 323 people watching: “Cozy up, get a glass of wine and thank you for being here with me.”

Drozda performed a 40-minute show that technically wasn’t live-streamed, because she wanted to avoid interruptions from her 4- and 6-year-old children.

It felt good to finally be able to perform again – even if she couldn’t see the audience.

“I feel like right now, music is a way and a source of comfort for everybody,” she said. “And for me, it's really therapeutic to be able to play and express myself.”

She is following the lead of several performers who have broadcast streaming concerts during the past two weeks of coronavirus social distancing, but Drozda has the added twist of asking for tips to be sent to a GoFundMe that benefits local music venues.

Her goal is to raise $5,000 to be split among Amos’ Southend, Petra’s, The Evening Muse, the Visulite Theatre and Neighborhood Theater. She calls it the Charlotte Music Challenge. After just one show, she raised $2,105.

“I just I think it would be nice to be able to give each of them $1,000 at the end of this and help their employees or help them keep their lights on and be able to know that hopefully at the end of this we can, you know, keep playing live music and that they can keep hosting shows,” Drozda said.

Drozda has tagged several more Charlotte artists to also perform virtually, and has support from Taylor Winchester, Courtney Lynn and Quinn, Elonzo Wesley and Kat Holland.

“I hope it offers inspiration to continue putting things out there that make people happy, or allow them to emote and process things as a community -- even if we can't hug or embrace or anything,” Drozda said. “I think music is definitely one of those tools we use to communicate and reach people.”

As she closed her set Wednesday, Drozda said she wanted to offer everyone watching a virtual hug. Which is something we could probably all use right now.

“I think it's really important for everyone to see artists,” she said. “It's a form of entertainment, right? How many of us really would like to kind of forget where we are right now for even three minutes. So when someone posts a song like that, I think it allows us to do that.”

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