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Arkansas artists unite to keep music alive during the pandemic

For artists impacted by canceled shows and shut down venues, 'Artists Against COVID-19' is there to help.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Canceled shows and shut down venues are impacting independent musicians all across the state.

One group of Arkansas artists have joined forces, though, to make sure the music doesn't die.

The group is called 'Artists Against COVID-19' and Anna Brazeal, co-founder, said they have two main goals.

First, collaborating with musicians who have lost their source of income. Second, engaging with the community to provide a little bit of light.

"Music and love are universal languages. It breaks all barriers – gender, race, culture," she said.

In a time full of uncertainty and fear, Brazeal said music can be the best medicine.

"To me, being an artist is almost kind of like being a therapist," she said.

Through guitars and keys, Susan Erwin Prowse, co-founder, said Artists Against COVID-19 is trying to be that source of healing.

"We are, as musicians ourselves, rallying together to help other artists navigate this crazy time," she said.

Brazeal said that includes assisting the artists with resources that are available to them across the board, to helping them live stream and promoting their shows.

"It’s really important in the music industry to collaborate as much as you possibly can; to get your music out there, to get your message out there," she said.

Prowse and Brazeal are the master-minds behind it all.

"We called one another just as artists going,'What are we going to do?'" Brazeal said.

In just two weeks, Prowse said they had already launched the website and started a virtual tip jar for all Arkansas musicians.

"It’s a daily, hourly effort right now," she said.

With the universal language of music on their side – Artists Against COVID-19 is uniting together and Prowse and Brazeal are both seeing hope at the end of it all.

"We’re not alone in this. It’s a world pandemic. To have music connect with people across the globe, we’ll have new fans as a result of it," Prowse said.

"After we do come out of this, the landscape of the music industry is going to drastically change," Brazeal said.

Right now, the group is working on partnering with nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and hospitals to set up live, online streaming to make sure everyone still hears the sound of music.

To donate to the virtual tip jar and learn more, you can head to artistsagainstcovid19.com.

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