LAFAYETTE - While I am just a part-time musician, my instruments and music gear have been collecting dust throughout the pandemic. Unfortunetly, there are those who rely on music for the majority of their income. Luckily, there are those in Acadiana who have been fighting to protect one of the pillars of this region's culture.
"The situation is what it is," says Acadiana Center for the Arts Executive Director Sam Oliver says, "We can either choose to do nothing, which in some ways is the easier thing to do, or we can do something."
The ACA is launching a new concert series to help local musicians. Barring any pandemic related setbacks, the concerts should begin on December 10th, and at 25% capacity.
It's something they've been fighting for since the start of the pandemic, much like their involvement with the "Lost My Gig" fund.
"That was really helpful, especially right when it hit," explains local singer Sarah Russo, "It was super helpful to me and a lot of my friends."
On top of the concert series, the ACA is also hosting, along with Social Entertainment, the "Lost My Gig - Encore" fundraiser.
"They're the hardest, hardest hit industry really in the country right now, and we have a disproportionate number of them in our community," says Oliver, "They're such a definitive part of our community: our musicians."
But fundraisers like the "Lost My Gig" fund can only go so far.
Says Russo, "Now it's just about saving what you do make because you don't know if you'll lose a gig last minute - and if it rains everything's outside so you could still lose a gig."
It's also not just the musicians that are hurting.
"People are so used to having music five nights a week," adds Russo, "They want that, they expect that. And so, I miss it. If I'm off, I want to go hear music!"
It's why Sam Oliver and the ACA are trying to find a way to navigate the new normal, even if it's just for a few nights and at a social distance.
Says the Executive Director, "If we can do this right now where the community is, then that's great because we can continue to do this."
For more information on the upcoming concert series, and to donate to the "Lost My Gig - Encore" fund, head on over to www.acadianacenterforthearts.org