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'3 months of income wiped out' | Artists are hard hit by social distancing

Gigs and events have been canceled through the summer.

WASHINGTON — Rhome Anderson is a DJ and music producer in the DC area. Monday afternoon he wrapped up a conference call about yet another event canceled.

"To add to my tally of job cancellations which brings me now to the next 3 months of income wiped out," Anderson explained, "I was stunned for a minute. I sat in the house and just sat there for a while then had to get into survival mode like, 'OK, I need a game plan."

Anderson spins music for parties, events and other gatherings that have all been canceled due to concerns over the spread of Coronavirus. He compared his experience to government workers during the Federal Shutdown who suddenly found themselves with no income and standing in line for free food. "It hasn't gotten to that point, but we're all worried. All my peers are losing jobs."

Anderson's Plan B is to find a temp job and post some of his work online. Bomani Armah is planning to speed up a future online project to sustain him during this period. "It's going to get done in 2 weeks," he laughed. 

Armah used to travel to classrooms across the country teaching English, Language -hop. "Writing an essay is like writing a song," he explained, "I'm a Kennedy Center Teaching Artist and making writing exciting for young people is exciting for me and it's catching on in a lot of school system."  But with school canceled nationwide, he is collaborating with other artists to pay the bill and pay it forward. 

"I want us to do what we have to do to mitigate the problems that are happening but I don't want this to be the new norm." "It takes neither policy or direction from the top down to look out for each other," added Anderson. 

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