Bushwick has no lack of artists looking to bring their work to a wider audience, but securing space for showcases, performances, and readings can sometimes be a challenge. Artery, a new online platform, seeks to connect artists who need performance spaces, the people willing to host them, and the audiences interested in directly supporting them.
Vladic Ravich, founder of Artery, says he and his co-founder, Salimah Yvette Ebrahim, started talking about their experiences as journalists and “about how hard writing about culture can be—how you have to capture not just the person, but the entire culture around them—how they joke with their friends, where they sit, how they are greeted…seeing the little stuff close up is the only way to understand the big stuff. Somehow, out of that came this idea about a website that actually connected people to the real culture of a place.”
And so Artery was born with a pilot in Toronto, which soon expanded to New York City. The way it works can be a little complicated to explain since there are multiple avenues for participating. Artists can sign up as creators of showcases, hosts can sign up their spaces for showcases, and audiences can browse nearby showcases and buy tickets to show their support for the events. But the good news is you don’t have to commit to a specific role when you sign up.
Addresses of spaces are only revealed to paying/confirmed attendees, and attendance is capped based on the size of the space. The interface [below] looks a lot like Kickstarter in that showcases don’t happen unless a certain number of spots are sold.
Ticket sales generally “go directly to the host and performer. Typically, the performers keep all or almost all of the support, but that’s something they work out when they connect.” Artery does collect a 5% fee for facilitating the interaction, but there is a “pay what you wish” option for hosts and artists who don’t want to create a financial hurdle for attendance.
Ravich tells us that roughly two-thirds of all showcases organized through Artery in New York happen in Bushwick, Williamsburg, and Ridgewood. So, you could say we’re early adopters.
Because the platform is collaborative in nature and currently based on invites, “people have invited friends in many other cities, and there are showcases coming together in Washington D.C., Boston, Montreal, Los Angeles, Ann Arbor, Berlin, Scotland, Spain, and Iceland…but the real power of the site occurs when these social circles and circuits discover each other.”
We’re excited to see how Bushwick’s events change the landscape of performance in the neighborhood!
Featured image courtesy of Artery.