LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– The pandemic has been a challenging time for many industries, but for artists looking for places to showcase their work, it has been exceptionally difficult.
“It’s been a challenge, but the community is really awesome and has really embraced us as we started looking for a new venue,” Allison Spooner, with the organization The Artist’s Umbrella said.
The group has been putting on variety shows in Lansing since June of 2019, but COVID-19 temporarily shut down The Loft, which has been one of the staple venues for performances. Now, they’ve had to get creative, moving shows outdoors and finding new venues.
“Our family has a huge passion for the arts and I’m thinking how much everybody must be struggling right now because they don’t have platforms to perform,” said Kirbay Preuss, General Manager’s of Preuss Pets in Lansing.
Press said the founder of The Artist’s Umbrella is a long-time customer and when he originally called her with the idea to start the organization, she told him it was an amazing plan. Fast forward about a year and a half, Preuss said she found herself thinking about those very same artists and wanted to find a way to help.
“I’m looking outside my store, I see a line of people waiting to get in, because we’re limiting how many people can come in, and I just think if I can pay the artists, give them a platform, they can be out here. It’s just such a good mix of just supporting the arts,” she said.
The artist’s have been showcasing their work for a little more than a month and a half now, and Preuss said that won’t change anytime soon. The Artist’s Umbrella is at Preuss Pets every Saturday from noon until 3 p.m. and will eventually move indoors when the colder weather hits. A large open space being created in the center of the store will allow them to continue to do what they love while keeping a safe distance from shoppers.
The organization will continue to hold other events in the Lansing area. On Saturday, Oct. 24, they’ll have a drive-thru style performance called ‘Carnival of Creatives’ on top of the North Grand parking lot downtown. On Oct. 29 they will also put on a variety show at Urban Beat called the ‘Witching Hour’. More information on those events and The Artist’s Umbrella can be found here.