From Spain to China, Italy, and even in Minnesota, music making is connecting neighbors in lockdown. Turning to song in times of uncertainty is nothing new; music has provided a sense of belonging since early human evolution. “The ability of music to increase social cohesion and direct human attention was probably a key reason for its development,” writes Michelle Langley and Leah Coutts in an article published by The Conversation. Making music can help us feel in control, they write, and is a source of collective identity, which can be an antidote to feelings of alienation that arise during social distancing.
Musicians also are turning to online platforms such as Patreon, Facebook Live, Instagram, and more to play or share unreleased tracks with paying fans. “It is a whole new level of interacting with your audience,” indie musician Haley Bonar told the Star Tribune.
The Current’s Morning Show host Jill Riley is checking in with musicians around the world to discuss what their lives are like in this time of social distancing. Some are recording new music. Others are hustling to earn an income and organize live streams. “I’m doing okay. I’m holding out,” says singer and activist Mavis Staples. “It’s pretty dreary, but the sun is shining today. That makes it better.”
Minnesota has launched a helpline amid rising reports of discrimination toward the Asian Pacific Islander community and will enable Minnesotans who experience or witness discrimination to report incidents directly to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights at 1-833-454-0148 (8am- 4:30pm). An online option is available. Translation services are available.
Due to the health and financial crisis sparked by COVID-19, many are unable to pay rent. Inquilinxs Unidxs Por Justicia and African Career, Education and Resource, Inc. have united to call on lawmakers in Minnesota to cancel rent and mortgages for all. CancelRentMN.com
Leslie Jamison writes in a New York Review of Books essay about becoming symptomatic and quarantining as a single mother with her two-year-old daughter. Jamison details spending her days sweating through sheets in between cleaning and feeding her daughter. Quarantine is a teacher, she writes, of “what I’ve already been taught, but I’ll never learn — that there are so many other ways to be lonely besides the particular way I am lonely.”
YES! Magazine published a list of ways in which global communities are taking care of each other amidst the pandemic. Stories include the social media campaign #PassTheLettuce, which encourages those with stable incomes to pass on their stimulus checks to those in need. The New York Times has also compiled a list of donation- worthy nonprofits.
Hand in Hand, a national network of domestic employers, is encouraging those who hire nannies, house cleaners, and home attendants to pledge their commitment to paying those employees who are unable to work.
The Human Rights Campaign has compiled a resource guide for members of the LGBTQ+ community who are feeling vulnerable at this time.
• Billboard State-by-State Resource Guide for Musicians
• National Alliance for Mental Illness COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide