NATS Launches ‘This Will Be Our Response: Voices of COVID-19’ Project
The National Association of Teachers of Singing(NATS) is launching a project to chronicle the response of those in the vocal arts community to the pandemic. Interviews are drawn from every walk of life in the performing arts from agents, singers, and opera companies, to casting directors, stage managers, and composers. This Will Be Our Response: Voices of COVID-19 is conceived of and directed by singer, doctoral student, and NATS member Timothy Bostwick. “The project aims to produce a sizable account of the community; not to judge, but to provide space to explore the realities of this situation and learn about how best to support the delicate balance of the global arts community,” says Bostwick.
To date Bostwick has interviewed 100 individuals within the vocal arts community. The launch of the project includes interviews with composer Jake Heggie, soprano Laura Strickling, psychologist Alex Stratyner, and mezzo-soprano Katharine Goeldner. In coming weeks interviews with Lisette Oropesa, J’Nai Bridges, Laquita Mitchell, Artist Relief Tree, Alex Fletcher and many others will be released. One of the strongest threads that runs through the interviews is the genuine empathy that is shown in the field. This common theme comes through in expressing the grief that the community shares for the arts, but also for each other. The arts survive as a community and this compassion is essential to our world, especially today.
“When Tim contacted me for an interview I was impressed by his thoughtfulness of approach to the project and his well conceived concept,” says Allen Henderson, Executive Director of NATS. “Following our interview we continued to converse about the project and I offered NATS as a vehicle for housing the interviews and our assistance with development of the project.” Bostwick began interviews on March 16th as the pandemic was impacting the performing arts in a significant way with widespread shut downs. As interviews continue, readers will also be able to see how the responses of those interviewed change and develop through the crisis.
A number of interviews will be released each Tuesday and announced on social media and in NATS’ weekly Intermezzo email newsletter. Anyone can sign up to receive the free weekly email which also includes aggregated news of interest to the vocal arts community. In addition, NATS has created a dedicated web page for the project.