Creating a Sing-Along

Snoti Jappah. Photo Fredrick Nagbe

This winter, Springboard for the Arts launched Artists Respond: Combating Social Isolation. With support from Springboard through funding from the Kresge Foundation and the Blandin Foundation, 89 artists from around Minnesota created projects that connect those most vulnerable in the pandemic. Minnesota Women’s Press spoke with four of these creatives about the inspiration behind their projects, and how they are hoping to transform a difficult situation with art and community.

I am making a musical performance focused on mental health and wellness that will make people happy, help them relax, and think positively about the situation we are in right now. The pre-recorded performance will be delivered to a women’s shelter, Home Free Community Programming, for women who deal with domestic violence and abuse. The women there [have already suffered] abuse and then to [combine that] with what is happening right now is a lot to deal with. I can use my art to create something that will help them cope.

I am singing with some incorporation of poetry and visuals. I wrote 100 percent of the songs and lyrics. It is going to be something that they can sing to. I incorporated the lyrics [as text] so they can see what I am saying.

Most times I do live performances at different venues. Now I do performances online, which is a whole new way of discovering my art. I am actively writing music since I can’t go and record right now.

We are blessed to be in a generation when we have access to digital content. I am thankful that there are avenues I can utilize — my social media pages and sending performances through different entities so people can have them whenever they have a break or need entertainment.

Social isolation is something that has made me dive into my creativity because I have to figure ways around building connections with my fan base. Connecting to my creativity has helped me to cope because it makes the time go smoother, even as I am feeling locked in the house and down on myself. Music has always been a way I have connected with other people when I feel alone.

I want the women who watch my performance to know that no matter what the situation is, there is always someone who is going through the same thing as you, somewhere. You cannot be together now physically, but you are not alone. This [time] is something that is going to pass over and we are going to be okay. I want people to feel comforted, at ease, and uplifted. I want to bring them joy.