May 28, 2020
A Creative Community Newsletter for Information and Inspiration
Each week we will send news you need to know about the COVID crisis that will help put us on the road to recovery. We will also give you a glimpse of how our creative colleagues from across the state are using their talent to bring us all closer together!

30% of Washington State counties are moving into Phase 2 of re-opening this week. As we start to reawaken to the outside world, this week we feature stories about movement and dance to help us stretch our minds and bodies.  

Read on for more.
OneRedmond held a webinar that walks you through the application for the Payment Protection Program ( PPP) Loan Forgiveness last week. Missed it? You can watch it here . (The sole proprietor and gig worker specific information comes in around the 1 hour mark.)

Don’t know much about the PPP? Check out our “cheat sheets” about the program here and here .

Seattle Office of Film + Music 's Mixer event yesterday was a webinar featuring tips for tenants rights, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and how to navigate COVID-19 relief programs. Keep an eye on their video page for the recording if you missed it.

Read about how Washington’s film industry is preparing for a reboot .

Read about the importance of good storytelling for your brand in Fast Company .
The Dance Studies Association offers a robust list of resources on how to move your dance classes online.

Learn how to live stream fitness classe s for your community.
Degenerate Art Ensemble is Remotely Yours
Joshua Kohl and Haruko Crow Nishimura of Degenerate Art Ensemble.
Seattle-based dance and performance duo Degenerate Art Ensemble weaves punk, comics, protest, cinema, nightmares and fairy tales into their own, unique style of theater and dance. Joshua Kohl and Haruko Crow Nishimura describe their work as "an exorcism through collision and conflict challenging how we see audience, architecture, music, story, myth and reality. It comes out of a deep desire for communion, soul-exchange and transformation."

We asked them a few questions about drawing inspiration from and collaborating in the time of COVID, the future of performance, and how to make a career out of being creative.
How was your short film, Remotely Yours , conceived and put together during Stay-at-Home orders? 

Joshua Kohl : The impetus for making the film was actually the cancellation of the Performance Mix Festival from New Dance Alliance in New York that we were scheduled to appear in June. The festival organizers undertook a great effort to move the festival online and feature each of the 28 companies involved, one day each in the month of May. We were faced with the choice of whether to stream something live or create something pre-edited to stream on May 18th. We ultimately chose to stream something pre-made. 

In our case we agreed to uphold the social distancing measures, but within those restrictions, we were going to really strive to make something beautiful. This inspired the use of multiple cars as part of the piece, and we were super happy with the beautiful lighting that the car headlights provided. We were able to gather six of our team members without breaking distancing. 
Remotely Your s, Degenerate Art Ensemble, 2020
The opening and closing segments of the piece were shot in our living room where we set up a screen and lights and the sunrise and morning shots were taken early in the morning in a parking lot.

So, in many ways the film used all of the unique aspects of this COVID-19 time as inspiration and as a set of unusual opportunities and limitations. The whole thing went from concept to filming to editing to music composing within a period of 36 hours. The film was shot on a combination of a Erm Lumix gh4 camera, an IPhone and an Android phone.  

Haruko Crow Nishimura : The piece played a lot with illusion and light. I wanted to take advantage of the gossamer, cocoon-like transparent costume from the piece, so I had the idea to play with using car headlights and light from the early sunrise through the material—playing with changing light with the dancing body. 

What tips or tricks can you offer to others who are trying to collaborate creatively during quarantine?

Haruko Crow Nishimura : Everything feels like an experiment right now. Make sure you have everything pre-planned and be sure to have a plan B. Assume that no matter what, the nature of these things can be so unpredictable with the weather, technical difficulties, unintentional interruptions from nature, drunken teenagers appearing in your viewfinder in the parking lot you are using (yes, that happened!) or a visit from a very freaked out police man who thinks he might be witnessing cult activity (we were nearly shut down, but with some calm explanation he turned out to be a sympathetic guy and let us continue). 

Has COVID-19 opened up any new perspectives in the way you consider developing your future work and performances? 

Joshua Kohl : Certainly our reality has been reconsidered in many ways. Especially the ways in which we gather! New frontiers of gathering beyond location has really opened up because of all of this. It's as if the technology for gathering online has been there all along just waiting for this to happen to force us to discover all of the myriad ways that we can make use of it. 

Of course this is not without extreme difficulty and consequence, but there are some very exciting developments. We are only beginning to imagine what these new systems can do to explore and explode the way in which we work. I think in many ways this has strengthened our desire to make work that can be seen anywhere at any time. That is what film/video/streaming allows us to do that our live performances don’t. Hopefully we can find a way to make work that brings the magic of live together with the accessibility of streaming. It is only just the beginning. I think performance and art is going to be changed forever.
Haruko Crow Nishimura in 'Remotely Yours.' Photo Credit: Bruce Clayton Tom
Haruko Crow Nishimura : In this COVID time, we realized how valuable of a medium film is, and even though we can’t be with our audience in person, film enables that connection online. And we are excited by film’s ability to communicate our vision in new ways but with the spirit of our theater performance pieces.  

Film has become even more valuable as a vessel for us in this time. We’ve been inspired by many different artists generously sharing their work online (live and not live) even though we are not able to look into each other’s eyes or exchange energy and touch. 

You’re working all the time and are doing an incredible job of making a career being creative. What’s the secret to your success? 

Joshua Kohl : The world keeps throwing curve balls at us—this will never change. We can make all of the plans in the world, but you never know what is coming in the future. I think the key is just to keep moving, keep evolving and seize the opportunities that new realities create. 

Our secret, if there is one, is that we have made a career out of being in a state of constant evolution. Each time we embark on a new project, we see it as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and break new ground. With this approach we view anything that comes as simply new fertile ground. Even a time like the one we are now facing brings a whole new universe of possibility.

And what advice would you give to other dancers who may be thinking about a career shift during these challenging times?  

Haruko Crow Nishimura : Learn to adapt to changes and turn your difficulties into challenges. This has helped me grow in deep and rich ways, strengthening my perceptions to be more open and discover more creativity around me, and work with it, dive deeper into it.

Has the pandemic changed the way you think about future live performances?

Haruko Crow Nishimura : For me, it has been a deep reflection time to appreciate how special and precious live performance is, what a special ritual what we call theater is, and I feel a comfort in a belief that that live performance will never die, I have realized more than ever that we all need it and yearn for it. So many artists are coming up with creative ways to still share live performances and they all have inspired me!
Bust a Mov(i)e
On a regular basis we'll be inviting creatives to curate content for the creative community to enjoy during the pandemic, starting with local storyteller, producer, and programmer Warren Etheredge. He's the co-founder and curator for  Walla Walla Movie Crush .
We’re on a mission and we’re wishin’ The Movie Crush can cure your lonely condition with this week’s collection of stay-at-home-shorts. Some say dance like nobody’s watching, we say: watch, like, everybody dancing. Whether it’s Batman Batusi-ing with his nemeses or a coroner crunking with his corpses, dance heals. From the happy feet of late Aughts Brooklyn to the insistent tapping feet of the Black Lives Matter movement, dance provides an outlet for the emotional gamut. Now, you know what to do, G.
Missing the club? Dance at home with amazing DJs! 
You can now stream Flammable Sundays , the longest running House night on the West Coast for free during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every week on Sundays, 10pm to 2am.Venmo tips appreciated!

Check out Club Quarantine with DJ D-Nice. One of our favorite champions of creativity, Tacoma’s Amy McBride loves DJ Nice! You will too. 

And be sure to check out Dance Church which has moved online during quarantine.
Dancing to the Beat of Quarantine
Alvin Ailey choreography from quarantine
Dance companies keep dancing during lockdown! 

Alvin Ailey dancers perform together —while apart.
Pacific Northwest Ballet Dancers recreate works from Bob Fosse, and along with the orchestra, perform George Balanchine's Serenade from home.

' Spokane Dancers Unite ’ for virtual performance.

San Francisco Ballet Orchestra musicians recorded The Sleeping Beauty 's garland dance with their phones, and 27 dancers from SF Ballet danced individual choreography in their homes, parks and streets.
Even Apart, We Are Together , composed by second- year Juilliard com position student Hannah Ishizaki.

  Cooped Up Dance Show! This Seattle  drive-in dance event  is part scavenger hunt, part performance.
Washington Filmworks (WF) is the private 501(c)(6) non-profit organization that manages the Motion Picture Competitiveness program as well as a diversity of resources for the creative industries in Washington State. WF's mission is to create economic development opportunities by building and enhancing the competitiveness, profile and sustainability of Washington State’s film industry.
 At Whipsmart, we are unapologetic advocates for creative people and businesses. We give creative professionals the tools they need to succeed, by meeting them where they’re at—offering intentionally curated mentorships, job opportunities, and business resources scaled to every stage of their career.