When I started at Fractured Atlas, it was mid-February and in a world that doesn’t exist anymore. My entire experience of working here has been defined by the pandemic, by trying to meet the urgent and deep needs of our community. That is to say, the onboarding has been a little unusual.
Someone recently asked me, “When do you think we can start pushing our teams to achieve pre-pandemic performance levels again, I mean, it’s been five months?” This past March in North America a giant remote work experiment began for many as an Adrenaline-fueled sprint. Organizations raced to get workers set up with home offices, stores sold out of computer monitors and tablets, and internet providers were inundated with rush requests to set up new or upgraded access. Coworkers helped each other learn how to use Zoom, access files on the physical server still located in their office, and move money without the ability to access check stock. The thought for many was, “let’s hunker down for a bit until this blows over. We’ll see each other back in the office in a few weeks, maybe a month or two, tops.” That moment feels like it was a lifetime ago.
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Rev. Moose is well-connected in the music industry nationally and globally. As the co-founder and managing partner of Marauder, a boutique music marketing firm, he helps artists and cultural export offices break into the US market. He helps them book shows, conferences, and festivals and gain radio airplay. As he describes it, “Most of my role is being able to not just talk to people about how the American market works, but also try to help connect people in ways that are going to be beneficial for their career. So a lot of times that's utilizing the relationships that we already have and trying to build new relationships with different people.” Marauder also runs Independent Venue Week in the U.S., which is an annual marketing campaign to highlight independent music venues. As Marauder was gearing up for Independent Venue Week 2020, South by Southwest cancelled. Then all venues started shutting down.
Fractured Atlas cordially invites you to our first Ignite the Arts Livestream - an online telethon to raise money for some of the artists and arts organizations with whom we work. Please join us on Tuesday, July 21st from 5pm-7:30pm Eastern Time to celebrate the creative contributions of these individuals and companies, and to support artists when they need it most. RSVP on Facebook here!
In response to massive upheavals in the arts, nonprofit, and social justice sectors as a result of COVID-19, Tim Cynova (Chief Operating Officer at Fractured Atlas) and Lauren Ruffin (Chief External Relations Officer), recognized that we need to be talking to each other. In the arts and nonprofit sectors, we need to hear about how other institutions are managing crises and uncertainty, and how they are envisioning our future. So, they started talking to their colleagues.
When we say that the Fractured Atlas team understands the pain of our members who have had to cancel shows and performances because of COVID-19, we mean it. When External Relations Associate Sophia Park isn’t managing grant applications for Fractured Atlas or working on other projects to help our operation run more smoothly, she curates independently and as one half of Jip Gallery. Her summer show was cancelled because of COVID-19.
If you are a manager who had to rapidly transition to remote work and then learn how to sustain virtual work for an indeterminate amount of time, you’ve likely felt some pressure and uncertainty. How do you keep your team on track during a pandemic? How do you let them know that they really can take time to care for themselves and loved ones? How can you make sure that you know what your team is working on without micromanaging them?
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic is shaking the structure of the arts world in an incredibly painful way. People have lost their livelihoods. Institutions (especially the smaller, independent ones) face uncertain futures, and nobody knows what the future holds. Fractured Atlas recognizes the magnitude of loss, grief, and uncertainty that artists and the arts sector as a whole is feeling right now. We also recognize that there is an opportunity for us to build new, more equitable structures.
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.