Marketplace at Steamtown in Scranton helps artists and small businesses with ‘Steamtown Live’ stream
From a press release:
When the going gets tough, the tough get creative.
This week, The Marketplace at Steamtown in downtown Scranton is introducing Steamtown Live, a live streaming showcase of local businesses and artists on the Marketplace’s Facebook page and the Scranton Public Market Instagram account. This opportunity to connect to the community is open to all Northeastern Pennsylvania small businesses and artists who have been directly affected by the closure of the marketplace or the cancellation of events in the area due to the coronavirus.
Local makers will have an opportunity to sell their handicraft directly to consumers online. Artists may perform live music, exhibit their work, or showcase any type of performance art. There is no fee to participate, and any resulting profits will be directly collected by the participants.
“Our small business community has been one of the hardest hit by COVID-19 closings and cancellations. I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what, if anything, can be done. As I watch many of the businesses and artists I follow take to social media in an attempt to boost morale and salvage sales, I realized something. Unless you were already set up for this, with a solid following, chances are your online audience is sparse. Then I started to take note of the assets we still had – an online following of over 30k,” Jessica Zielen, creative director of The Marketplace at Steamtown, explained in an e-mail, referring to the Marketplace’s over 30,800 Facebook followers in addition to over 2,100 followers on the SPM Instagram.
“The Marketplace at Steamtown has always sought an active role in our community. If you are familiar with the Scranton Public Market or our Shop Small Steamtown events, you understand our close ties with local makers and artists. We now feel the effects of the COVID-19 closures and cancellations keenly and brace ourselves as it impacts those around us. Our physical venue may be gone for the moment but, like many, we turn to our online community.”
Artsts and small business owners can apply now at themarketplaceatsteamtown.com. Participants who are accepted into the program will be assigned a time slot to broadcast live (30 minutes max for sales and 60 minutes max for art) and must agree to the guidelines and restrictions listed on the website. Any profits can be collected via PayPal, Venmo, Patreon, etc.
Zielen will host the kickoff of Steamtown Live this Friday, April 3 from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. on Facebook.
Those who do not wish to live stream but would still like to help can make a donation to the NEPA Emergency Artists Support Fund on Facebook, which provides immediate financial support to those actively pursuing careers as artists/arts industry workers primarily based in Northeast Pennsylvania. It is not focused on people with full or part-time non-arts based jobs that can file for unemployment or other monetary help, but rather those who might otherwise receive no aid. Founded by Scranton Fringe Festival Executive Director Conor Kelly O’Brien and backed by many local names in the NEPA community, it has raised $2,725 of its $4,000 goal.
Learn more about the coronavirus shutdown’s impact on local arts and entertainment in a discussion with O’Brien, F.M. Kirby Center Artistic Director Anne Rodella, and Wilkes-Barre singer/songwriter Dustin Douglas of Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen in Episode 132 of the NEPA Scene Podcast:
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STANDBY FOR LAUNCH 🚀… introducing ✨Steamtown Live✨ . @marketplaceatsteamtown and @scrantonpublicmarket will be leveraging our online audience to boost the reach of local artists and artisans 🚀 ✨ . Find out how to participate in or support Steamtown Live at SHOPSMALLSTEAMTOWN.com