Fractured Atlas tries to be transparent about How We Work. Especially when it comes to the transition we made to becoming a fully distributed team. Over three years, we slowly wound down the number of people coming into our Manhattan office, and in late 2019, we fully flipped the switch. Here’s what it looked like for us to transition to a virtual team. Even in our own team, we’ve seen that people approach virtual working differently. With the freedom to organize our days outside of an office, we’ve each had to find out what kinds of schedules work for us, how to recharge during the day, and how to organize our workspaces. There’s a lot of information out there about how to make working from home work for you, but we know first-hand that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
In an unpredictable world, artists need to get in the regular habit of inventorying and documenting your work. That way, if an emergency hits, you’re better prepared to get relief.
Learn how to use the Theory of Change model to map out your plan and evaluate what's working. Subscribe to the blog and get your printable copy.
How are you doing?
On March 12, in the early phases of national lockdowns in the United States, a Google Doc with resources for freelance artists started making the rounds. It had links to information and resources for freelancers who were getting their jobs cancelled because of COVID-19, including emergency funding. Like other Google Docs that serve an immediate need at the right time, it exploded. The document crashed and its creators quickly shifted the Google Doc to a website. Since then, its creators have become a temporary collective, the Freelance Artist Resource Producing Collective.
For software developers, as with all kinds of newly remote workers, the adjustment to working from home comes in phases. The first phase is making sure that everyone has the right computers, apps, and programs to complete the functions of their job and to communicate with one another. Then comes a whole new set of questions. How do you know what you and your colleagues are supposed to be doing? How do you feel connected to your colleagues? How do you update your infrastructure to be cloud-based rather than dependent on a physical server?
As an artist or an arts organization, you are likely inviting people to events, whether physical or virtual. You want people to attend your play, artist talk, workshop, or screening. In order to sell or distribute tickets (or even register RSVPs) ahead of time, you need a ticketing app.
It’s challenging to keep track of all of the people who are invested in your work as an artist. Who attended your last performance? Who donated to your most recent crowdfunding campaign? How much did they pitch in? Plenty of artists keep track of this crucial information in an ad-hoc, manual way. For example, manually inputting email signups from events into a big spreadsheet or by cross-referencing your email inbox with your crowdfunding platform. While it might be tempting to keep muddling through out of habit, we recommend finding a way to consolidate this information in one useful place.
At Fractured Atlas, we want artists to have the right tools to help you best support your creative practice - whether that’s by providing a fundraising platform and a way to apply to more grants, or by sharing recommendations for collaboration tools. We want you to have the tools you need so that you can focus on realizing your unique creative vision.
During a crisis, the impulse is to help. But it’s hard to know where to start. In the case of the coronavirus pandemic, you might be pulled in a number of different directions. Should you donate to the staff funds for the coffee shops, bars, bookstores, movie theaters, and nightclubs that you would ordinarily be visiting? Should you donate to the big national fundraisers or to small, local, specific ones? Should you focus on food security or making sure that essential workers have enough PPE to keep themselves safe? How many voicemails should you leave for your political representatives?
It is frustrating and sad to have to cancel shows and performances for the sake of public safety. You might have had to cancel your first solo show, and MFA show, or your directorial debut. Not being able to gather in person for shows or performances is emotionally challenging, and also logistically challenging. You’ll have to work through contracts, payouts, and vendors to cancel a show with as little fallout as possible.