Boston Art Music Soul Festival didn’t let the COVID-19 pandemic stand in its way of bringing the arts to the Boston community. Catherine T. Morris, founder of Boston Art & Music Soul Festival, and her team, created a digital platform from which black and brown artists can perform for their community. That innovative, digital platform–Artdacity–was presented to our community in a series of episodes.
Season 1, Episode 1: Cadence with Action: Black Women Breaking Barriers Unapologetically gave voice to the strength of black women who are setting the stage in the arts. Boston Art & Music Soul Festival brought Boston’s black and brown artists into a space conducive to artists and the community during the pandemic.
Season 1, Episode 3: In Growing Black Culture Through an Economic Lens, Lenny S. of Roc Nation talked of reinventing and reevaluating who artists are with different forms, getting their work out to the community, and
building an economic life through their art. Lenny S. expounded on bringing artists along with him on his own journey, giving them a chance similar to the one he was given to showcase the talents he possesses. His helping of artists is not unlike what Catherine T. Morris has done in creating the Boston Art & Music Soul Festival, for that very same purpose of giving Boston’s black and brown artists the platform to showcase their artistic prowess, not only by creating a new platform from which they can showcase, but also by teaching them to tell their story beyond the main or standard platforms. These showcasing resources are especially valuable since so many artists have not recently been able to perform to in-person audiences. Throughout this episode, always paying homage, Morris doesn’t shy away from reminding us she stands on the shoulders of those who came before her.
Season 1, Episode 5: Boston Art & Music Soul Festival has been coming to us virtually through Artdacity, bringing so many conversations about the arts in our community and what it takes to present and sustain them and the a
rtists. Another discussion that was presented was The Soul in Food. This conversation came from two of Boston’s profound culinary artists of color, Kwasi Kawaa from Comfort Kitchen, and Nia Grace, owner of Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen. Kawaa and Grace expounded on how food was the center of community and how bringing community together is both of their missions.
COVID-19 has changed how the industry works. Both Grace and Kawaa talked about being creative, teaching, collaborating, and the work and life balance. They explained the latter point is about taking breaks as a collective an
d everyone being refreshed at the same time. They took time together as a group on the vineyard to gather themselves and convene. Kawaa believes the environment where people gather needs to work for everyone, and that this level of care for others should also be poured into care of self, aka selfcare.