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Pictures | Mon Apr 13, 2020 | 1:14pm EDT

Seattle artists struggling in coronavirus shutdown

Dani Tirrell, a black, queer, gender-nonconforming movement-based artist, choreographer and educator, has had in-session dance classes at Northwest Tap Connection and the University of Washington canceled completely. "That was a nice chunk of income for me," said Tirrell of the classes. But Tirrell, seen at Kubota Gardens in Seattle, April 2, 2020, is more concerned for the financial and mental wellbeing of other individual artists: "What does this do for people's mental health, especially artists?" And while there are many artist funds, Tirrell says, thousands of people are applying at the same time. "Your likelihood of getting anything in the first, second, third round is slim."

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Dani Tirrell, a black, queer, gender-nonconforming movement-based artist, choreographer and educator, has had in-session dance classes at Northwest Tap Connection and the University of Washington canceled completely. "That was a nice chunk of income...more

Dani Tirrell, a black, queer, gender-nonconforming movement-based artist, choreographer and educator, has had in-session dance classes at Northwest Tap Connection and the University of Washington canceled completely. "That was a nice chunk of income for me," said Tirrell of the classes. But Tirrell, seen at Kubota Gardens in Seattle, April 2, 2020, is more concerned for the financial and mental wellbeing of other individual artists: "What does this do for people's mental health, especially artists?" And while there are many artist funds, Tirrell says, thousands of people are applying at the same time. "Your likelihood of getting anything in the first, second, third round is slim." REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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As a programming curator at Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Dani Tirrell is figuring out how to shift programs online for the time being, without giving too much work away for free. For now, Tirrell is doing a physically distant interview series on Instagram live every Saturday with local artists. "We want to make sure the voices of the artists are at the center of what we do ... There's no magical way to deal with (this situation). In the immediate, we can't change anything. All you can do is plan for the future and know that that may change."

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

As a programming curator at Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Dani Tirrell is figuring out how to shift programs online for the time being, without giving too much work away for free. For now, Tirrell is doing a physically distant interview...more

As a programming curator at Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, Dani Tirrell is figuring out how to shift programs online for the time being, without giving too much work away for free. For now, Tirrell is doing a physically distant interview series on Instagram live every Saturday with local artists. "We want to make sure the voices of the artists are at the center of what we do ... There's no magical way to deal with (this situation). In the immediate, we can't change anything. All you can do is plan for the future and know that that may change." REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Emilie Choi, concertmaster of the Auburn Symphony and assistant concertmaster of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, says she is essentially out of work indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak and is applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program after being denied for regular unemployment. The Pacific Northwest Ballet, which will lose up to $3 million through April due to the coronavirus outbreak, has closed its schools and canceled two programs, leading to a furlough of all staffers, dancers and musicians. The organization has announced an emergency relief fund that is helping pay for health insurance premiums for furloughed workers. 

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Emilie Choi, concertmaster of the Auburn Symphony and assistant concertmaster of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, says she is essentially out of work indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak and is applying for Pandemic Unemployment...more

Emilie Choi, concertmaster of the Auburn Symphony and assistant concertmaster of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra, says she is essentially out of work indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak and is applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program after being denied for regular unemployment. The Pacific Northwest Ballet, which will lose up to $3 million through April due to the coronavirus outbreak, has closed its schools and canceled two programs, leading to a furlough of all staffers, dancers and musicians. The organization has announced an emergency relief fund that is helping pay for health insurance premiums for furloughed workers. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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On March 12, a day after Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a ban on gatherings of over 250 people, Pacific Northwest Ballet had its last dress rehearsal for its production of "One Thousand Pieces." "It was so devastating to witness the beautiful work of both dancers and musicians, plus amazing production, that won't be performed (for an audience)," said Emilie Choi, seen in Seattle, March 16, 2020. "A big issue for me is not being able to play the music, more than just for monetary reasons. Artists don't do their job because it's good pay. We are artists because that's our very being."

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

On March 12, a day after Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a ban on gatherings of over 250 people, Pacific Northwest Ballet had its last dress rehearsal for its production of "One Thousand Pieces." "It was so devastating to witness the...more

On March 12, a day after Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a ban on gatherings of over 250 people, Pacific Northwest Ballet had its last dress rehearsal for its production of "One Thousand Pieces." "It was so devastating to witness the beautiful work of both dancers and musicians, plus amazing production, that won't be performed (for an audience)," said Emilie Choi, seen in Seattle, March 16, 2020. "A big issue for me is not being able to play the music, more than just for monetary reasons. Artists don't do their job because it's good pay. We are artists because that's our very being." REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Stacey Mastrian, an independent voice teacher and singer who had to call off a CD release recital, collaborations in Arizona and Washington, D.C., and potentially performances in Italy later this year, says her only current work is through some students who have signed up for online vocal classes. Mastrian, photographed at the house she rents in north Seattle, March 18, 2020, says that because spring is the time people usually start to plan for next year, her entire next season is also currently empty. She's received one $250 grant from one of many artist relief funds that have emerged, but says most are so swamped with applications she doesn't expect to hear back. "Everything is just cancelled, period. Into infinity. I am a saver, but this situation will decimate what little I have," said Mastrian, who is also covering rent for potential roommates who backed out of a shared living situation.

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Stacey Mastrian, an independent voice teacher and singer who had to call off a CD release recital, collaborations in Arizona and Washington, D.C., and potentially performances in Italy later this year, says her only current work is through some...more

Stacey Mastrian, an independent voice teacher and singer who had to call off a CD release recital, collaborations in Arizona and Washington, D.C., and potentially performances in Italy later this year, says her only current work is through some students who have signed up for online vocal classes. Mastrian, photographed at the house she rents in north Seattle, March 18, 2020, says that because spring is the time people usually start to plan for next year, her entire next season is also currently empty. She's received one $250 grant from one of many artist relief funds that have emerged, but says most are so swamped with applications she doesn't expect to hear back. "Everything is just cancelled, period. Into infinity. I am a saver, but this situation will decimate what little I have," said Mastrian, who is also covering rent for potential roommates who backed out of a shared living situation. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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In a letter to her Congressional representatives, Stacey Mastrian stressed how this is a time of uncertainty for non-traditional employment situations, asking them to consider their unique circumstances when drafting any relief efforts. "The (unemployment) system is not set up to handle self-employed people," she said.

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

In a letter to her Congressional representatives, Stacey Mastrian stressed how this is a time of uncertainty for non-traditional employment situations, asking them to consider their unique circumstances when drafting any relief efforts. "The...more

In a letter to her Congressional representatives, Stacey Mastrian stressed how this is a time of uncertainty for non-traditional employment situations, asking them to consider their unique circumstances when drafting any relief efforts. "The (unemployment) system is not set up to handle self-employed people," she said. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Actress, musician and dancer MJ Jurgensen, who has lost upcoming gigs due to industry shutdowns during the pandemic, helps lead an online class with Three Dragons Academy, an arts enrichment program for children that is currently her main source of income, at her home in Seattle, March 24, 2020. Jurgensen says that any future work she might have is indefinitely on hold, noting, "spring is audition season -- I would be auditioning all over the place right now."

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Actress, musician and dancer MJ Jurgensen, who has lost upcoming gigs due to industry shutdowns during the pandemic, helps lead an online class with Three Dragons Academy, an arts enrichment program for children that is currently her main source of...more

Actress, musician and dancer MJ Jurgensen, who has lost upcoming gigs due to industry shutdowns during the pandemic, helps lead an online class with Three Dragons Academy, an arts enrichment program for children that is currently her main source of income, at her home in Seattle, March 24, 2020. Jurgensen says that any future work she might have is indefinitely on hold, noting, "spring is audition season -- I would be auditioning all over the place right now." REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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The Village Theatre's "The Homefront," which MJ Jurgensen was set to appear in in May, has currently been postponed by an entire season, which means a delay in that income for a year.  But she says she's also concerned for the industry as a whole: "It's hard to tell what's going to survive." She has applied for unemployment and hasn't heard back, but isn't surprised, as regular unemployment isn't designed for gigging artists. In the meantime, Jurgensen has made about $700 in donations from video programming for kids she has put on Facebook. "It's providing an outlet for kids but also for me."

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

The Village Theatre's "The Homefront," which MJ Jurgensen was set to appear in in May, has currently been postponed by an entire season, which means a delay in that income for a year. But she says she's also concerned for the industry as a whole:...more

The Village Theatre's "The Homefront," which MJ Jurgensen was set to appear in in May, has currently been postponed by an entire season, which means a delay in that income for a year. But she says she's also concerned for the industry as a whole: "It's hard to tell what's going to survive." She has applied for unemployment and hasn't heard back, but isn't surprised, as regular unemployment isn't designed for gigging artists. In the meantime, Jurgensen has made about $700 in donations from video programming for kids she has put on Facebook. "It's providing an outlet for kids but also for me." REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Allison Masangkay, a queer, disabled Filipinx and POC artist also known as DJ Phenohype, has lost at least a third to half of their income due to restrictions on gatherings during the coronavirus outbreak, photographed at Miller Park in Seattle, April 3, 2020. Masangkay, who still has some part-time remote work for a nonprofit, says that the income from DJing helped pay for rent and living expenses. "I feel great sadness and feelings of grief around physical isolation; however, I'm also very grateful for the privileges I have in being able to adapt my work and how I connect with people," Masangkay said. 

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Allison Masangkay, a queer, disabled Filipinx and POC artist also known as DJ Phenohype, has lost at least a third to half of their income due to restrictions on gatherings during the coronavirus outbreak, photographed at Miller Park in Seattle,...more

Allison Masangkay, a queer, disabled Filipinx and POC artist also known as DJ Phenohype, has lost at least a third to half of their income due to restrictions on gatherings during the coronavirus outbreak, photographed at Miller Park in Seattle, April 3, 2020. Masangkay, who still has some part-time remote work for a nonprofit, says that the income from DJing helped pay for rent and living expenses. "I feel great sadness and feelings of grief around physical isolation; however, I'm also very grateful for the privileges I have in being able to adapt my work and how I connect with people," Masangkay said. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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While it won't replace playing at events and parties, Allison Masangkay plans to continue working on DJ mixes, and recently launched a line of merchandise on her website. Masangkay says trying to view their work and community involvement in proactive and sustainable terms is helping the uncertainty of the future feel more manageable.

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

While it won't replace playing at events and parties, Allison Masangkay plans to continue working on DJ mixes, and recently launched a line of merchandise on her website. Masangkay says trying to view their work and community involvement in proactive...more

While it won't replace playing at events and parties, Allison Masangkay plans to continue working on DJ mixes, and recently launched a line of merchandise on her website. Masangkay says trying to view their work and community involvement in proactive and sustainable terms is helping the uncertainty of the future feel more manageable. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Dustin Kaspar, the Educational Programs Manager at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) since 2008, was formally laid off along with most of the staff on April 1 after the festival was forced to cancel its 46th festival and indefinitely close its three cinemas. "The coronavirus has eviscerated gathering in traditional spaces for both education and experiencing art in a community, both pillars of my world at SIFF,"  said Kaspar, seen outside the SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle, April 2, 2020. Since his layoff he is doing some part time work with South End Stories at Orca K-8 in Seattle, and is looking into creating online media-infused lessons for parents and teachers. He believes that SIFF will reemerge from the pandemic as a more sustainable organization. SIFF, one of the largest film festival in North America, usually showcases more than 400 films from 85 countries over 25 days. "SIFF is down, but not out," said President Lynn Hubbard in a message on the festival's website. "For now, we are dark, but we are working towards the light."

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Dustin Kaspar, the Educational Programs Manager at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) since 2008, was formally laid off along with most of the staff on April 1 after the festival was forced to cancel its 46th festival and indefinitely...more

Dustin Kaspar, the Educational Programs Manager at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) since 2008, was formally laid off along with most of the staff on April 1 after the festival was forced to cancel its 46th festival and indefinitely close its three cinemas. "The coronavirus has eviscerated gathering in traditional spaces for both education and experiencing art in a community, both pillars of my world at SIFF," said Kaspar, seen outside the SIFF Cinema Uptown in Seattle, April 2, 2020. Since his layoff he is doing some part time work with South End Stories at Orca K-8 in Seattle, and is looking into creating online media-infused lessons for parents and teachers. He believes that SIFF will reemerge from the pandemic as a more sustainable organization. SIFF, one of the largest film festival in North America, usually showcases more than 400 films from 85 countries over 25 days. "SIFF is down, but not out," said President Lynn Hubbard in a message on the festival's website. "For now, we are dark, but we are working towards the light." REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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Village Theatre Executive Producer Robb Hunt, who helped found the company in 1979, stands for a portrait in front of the set for "Hansel & Gretl & Heidi & Gunter" at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah on March 17, 2020. The original production was supposed to premiere on March 12, but is now on hold indefinitely as gathering restrictions and "stay-at-home" orders continue.

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

Village Theatre Executive Producer Robb Hunt, who helped found the company in 1979, stands for a portrait in front of the set for "Hansel & Gretl & Heidi & Gunter" at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah on March 17, 2020. The original...more

Village Theatre Executive Producer Robb Hunt, who helped found the company in 1979, stands for a portrait in front of the set for "Hansel & Gretl & Heidi & Gunter" at the Francis J. Gaudette Theatre in Issaquah on March 17, 2020. The original production was supposed to premiere on March 12, but is now on hold indefinitely as gathering restrictions and "stay-at-home" orders continue. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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The company's postponement of the production, plus the postponement of the already-running "She Loves Me" and the cancellation of "The Wedding Singer" will cause over $1.6 million in losses through the beginning of May, and has led to the layoff of 170 employees. If gathering restrictions are extended past May, the company could lose over $2.4 million. In addition to its programming in Issaquah in Everett, the company's spring youth programming is also cancelled. During an average year, Village Theatre normally has some 220,000 attendees and 20,000 subscribers each season.

REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

The company's postponement of the production, plus the postponement of the already-running "She Loves Me" and the cancellation of "The Wedding Singer" will cause over $1.6 million in losses through the beginning of May, and has led to the layoff of...more

The company's postponement of the production, plus the postponement of the already-running "She Loves Me" and the cancellation of "The Wedding Singer" will cause over $1.6 million in losses through the beginning of May, and has led to the layoff of 170 employees. If gathering restrictions are extended past May, the company could lose over $2.4 million. In addition to its programming in Issaquah in Everett, the company's spring youth programming is also cancelled. During an average year, Village Theatre normally has some 220,000 attendees and 20,000 subscribers each season. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
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