Showing posts with label Social Networking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Social Networking. Show all posts

12 May 2020

Covid-19: Sign the Letter for a Green Recovery

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These three women have the power to make it happen: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Europe’s top banker Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
These three women have the power to make it happen: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Europe’s top banker Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. (image via Avaaz)
Dear friends,

In days, Europe could put forward a bold, green Corona recovery plan that would be a beacon of hope for the rest of the world -- but big polluters and coal-loving governments are trying to derail it!

To fight back, Avaaz is joining a massive group of influential politicians, scientists, academics, business leaders and civil society, to back an ambitious green recovery for Europe.

And these three women have the power to make it happen: EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Europe’s top banker Christine Lagarde and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Let’s embolden them with 1 million signatures from all corners of the world, making sure they stay strong, face down the lobbyists and lead us towards the green future we need

Join now with one click -- in days, key parliamentarians will deliver our voices straight to Europe’s leaders and the media!

ADD MY NAME

To Commission President von der Leyen, Chancellor Merkel, Christine Lagarde and all EU leaders:
You’ve got the power to lead Europe and the world out of the dark days of this pandemic towards a brighter, greener future.

You can make the Green Deal our Recovery Deal by investing hundreds of billions a year to create green jobs and make our economies clean and fair. We count on you to put a climate bank and a climate budget at its heart, and ensure that all money is spent in line with the Paris agreement. It is time to move away from dirty fossil fuels, tax large corporate profits, and unleash the clean energy revolution we so desperately need.

Together, we are strong enough to fight back and recover from this virus. We are generous enough to ensure no one is left behind. And we are wise enough to ensure this recovery does not lay the foundations for even worse climate crises in the future.

ADD MY NAME
With hope for the future,

Loup Dargent

18 April 2020

The Cranberries "Zombie" Video Hits 1 Billion YouTube Views Making History As First Irish Band Ever To Hit This Milestone

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The Cranberries' iconic video for "Zombie" has hit 1 billion views on YouTube, breaking records as the first Irish band to hit this milestone.
The Cranberries' iconic video for "Zombie" has hit 1 billion views on YouTube, breaking records as the first Irish band to hit this milestone.
Taken from their second album No Need To Argue and released in September 1994, the official video for The Cranberries track "Zombie" has just passed 1 billion views on YouTube, breaking records as the first Irish band to hit this milestone. 

The Cranberries now join a small club of iconic artists to reach this landmark and the video is the fifth most viewed rock video of all time globally according to Louder Sound.



Written by Dolores O'Riordan as a protest song after IRA bombings in Warrington killed two children and injured 56 others in March 1993, "Zombie" was recorded at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin and was produced by long time Cranberries collaborator Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur). Containing the lyrics "But you see, it's not me. It's not my family," the band were adamant "Zombie" should be the lead single from their new album and resisted the suggestion to go with a less political track, such was their commitment to the song. 

The official video directed by Samuel Bayer – who now notches his second billion viewed clip following Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' – shows original footage of Northern Irish street scenes with children playing war games during The Troubles, including the now famous political and historical murals. 

In the video a gilded Dolores O'Riordan stands before a giant cross wearing a crown of thorns surrounded by silver cherubs, with cutaway shots of the band performing live outdoors.

The Cranberries' iconic video for "Zombie" has hit 1 billion views on YouTube, breaking records as the first Irish band to hit this milestone.
The Cranberries' iconic video for "Zombie" has hit 1 billion views on YouTube, breaking records as the first Irish band to hit this milestone. (screengrab)
Fergal Lawler, The Cranberries drummer said of the achievement, "We are so delighted with the news that 'Zombie' has reached 1 billion views on YouTube. We are sure Dolores has a big, proud smile on her face too. Thank you so much to all our fans around the world for supporting us over so many years. Hopefully you are all safe and well and managing to find some hope and positivity in our music."
Noel Hogan, The Cranberries guitarist continues, "For 'Zombie' to reach 1 billion views has been a long road and another milestone for the band. Little did we think twenty something years ago that this song would stand the test of time and mean so much too so many. All we can say is thank you to the fans for all they have done for us."
Bassist Mike Hogan concludes, "I can still remember making such a great video and seeing the impact that it had - and still does - on people. Big shout out to all The Cranberries fans around the world - thanks so much."
Their most commercially successful single, "Zombie" went on to top the singles charts in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland and was #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart in the US. In 1995 it was awarded 'Best Song' at the MTV Europe Music Awards, and was voted #1 on Australia's Triple J Hottest 100 chart in 1994. 

On January 16th 2018, Colin Parry - father of Tim Parry, the twelve year old victim of the Warrington bomb - thanked Dolores O'Riordan for the 'majestic and (also) very real lyrics" in the track.

The Cranberries' iconic video for "Zombie" has hit 1 billion views on YouTube, breaking records as the first Irish band to hit this milestone.
The Cranberries' iconic video for "Zombie" has hit 1 billion views on YouTube, breaking records as the first Irish band to hit this milestone. (screengrab)
The Cranberries debut album Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We? was released and charted at #1 on the UK album charts in March 1993. Their second and most commercially successful album No Need To Argue was released in October 1994 and stayed on the UK charts for 98 weeks after being certified multiple platinum, making the band global superstars. 

In April 2019, The Cranberries released their eighth and final album, In The End, the vocals for which had been recorded by Dolores prior to her tragic passing in 2018. Guitarist Noel Hogan confirmed its release would honor her memory. In The End reached top 10 in the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, and on the Billboard Independent Albums chart in the US. It was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards.

An expanded reissue of No Need To Argue is planned for release by UMe/Island later this year.

SOURCE: UMe/Island

14 April 2020

Hip Hop Public Health Launches 20 Seconds or More Initiative Harnessing the Power of Music to Encourage Hand Washing and Other Safety Protocols Amongst Young People to Battle the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Rap Icon Doug E. Fresh and Songwriter Artie Green Collaborated on New Song and Video, 20 Seconds or More, Featuring 40 Recording Artists, Entertainers, Medical Workers, Athletes, and Business and Civic Leaders
Rap Icon Doug E. Fresh and Songwriter Artie Green Collaborated on New Song and Video, 20 Seconds or More, Featuring 40 Recording Artists, Entertainers, Medical Workers, Athletes, and Business and Civic Leaders PRNewsfoto/Hip Hop Public Health)
Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) the national nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering positive health behavior change through the power of hip hop music since 2005, today launched 20 Seconds or More, a new initiative to encourage hand washing and other safety protocols among the nation's youth. 

The focal point of 20 Seconds or More is a lively, three-minute music video featuring pioneering rapper and community health advocate, Doug E. Fresh, along with more than 40 noted individuals from the entertainment, sports, medical, civic and business sectors. These include a range of talents such as rappers DMC, Monie Love and Chuck D, pop and R&B singers Ashanti and Jordin Sparks, along with Jamie Foxx, Cedric The Entertainer, UNC NBA prospect Cole Anthony, Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley and many others

Dr. Olajide Williams, Chief of Staff, Department of Neurology, NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, and Doug E. Fresh are the Co-Founders of HHPH and are spearheading the initiative with HHPH Executive Director and CEO, Lori Rose Benson. Philanthropic support for the initiative has been provided by the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation and the Bristol Myers Squibb Black Organization for Leadership Development, an employee resource group.

Hip Hop Public Health produced the song 20 Seconds or More in response to messaging failures governing the pandemic in the US. The song was written by Artie Green, and features Doug E. Fresh and Gerry Gunn with medical oversight by Dr. Williams.

20 Seconds or More is available on Spotify and will be on additional streaming music platforms this week, with the hopes of inspiring dance/rapping challenges to share these resources widely. 

The song's catchy refrain, "Wash your hands everybody, and everybody just wash your hands," is inspired by the classic hip hop riff that began with Big Hank and has been adopted by MCs and hip hop fans of all ages and backgrounds as a global anthem.
"The main goal of 20 Seconds or More is to bring together art, science and social media innovation to help fight the COVID-19 health crisis plaguing our nation and the world today," says Doug E. Fresh. "As an artist and a health advocate, I have the responsibility of using my platform and my voice to make a change, beginning with young people, to help save lives and stop the spread of this virus."
"Without a doubt, COVID-19 is one of the most challenging health crises of modern times," says Dr. Olajide Williams. "Personal safety measures are important against the highly contagious Coronavirus, whose infectious profile includes a large number of silent 'asymptomatic' carriers (18-30%) capable of infecting others, and those with mild manifestations of the disease."
The few community defenses against the devastating effects of COVID-19 include home quarantine, social distancing, and proper frequent hand washing. Data shows that these practices mitigate the spread of the virus and have helped to reduce transmission and sickness in countries that have implemented them.
Adds Dr. Williams, "We now know that younger people are more likely to have mild manifestations or silent infection compared to older individuals, and that communities of color are disproportionately affected. These groups need targeted health communication solutions for improving compliance with hand washing, social distancing and home quarantine. 20 Seconds or More is such a campaign, designed to motivate young people and communities of color to engage in regular hand washing and social distancing, while also appealing to the general public."
"This is the era of personal responsibility, when the simple things we choose to do or not do have life and death consequences," says Lori Rose Benson, Executive Director and CEO of Hip Hop Public Health. "Personal responsibility is empowered by education, social conditioning, and cultural relevance. We could therefore think of no better way to get this message across than by launching 20 Seconds or More. This is a life-saving, action-oriented platform that enables young people and all of us to recognize and utilize our power for the collective good health of our communities, the nation and the world."
In addition to the song and video, HHPH has created multiple opportunities for the public to get involved in the 20 Seconds or More movement. Working in collaboration with OPEN, the Online Physical Education Network, HHPH created free lesson plans and other health educational materials to be shared with teachers, school leaders, parents and students to support remote learning and staying active at home.

 HHPH has also created opportunities for young people, educators and artists to serve as Ambassadors, or "HHPH MCs" charged with utilizing their social networks and platforms to inspire dance and rap challenges, while encouraging adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols. HHPH's network of MCs (Masters of Culture) helps to amplify key health messages to empower youth and teach them how to care for their physical and mental health.

HHPH is also sharing frequent updates and information regarding COVID-19 through a series of studies, papers and interactive sessions with Dr. Williams. These include the COVID-19 Industry Rapid Response Q&A with The Partnership for a Healthier America and HHPH's latest blog post with engaging resources for families to stay active at home.

20 Seconds or More - The Video:


The 20 Seconds or More video was produced by IDEKO, a New York based experiential production agency.

13 April 2020

Alight Announces #InOurHands Global Campaign To Create Unity and Share Messaging About COVID-19 [Video Included]

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Alight Announces #InOurHands Global Campaign To Create Unity and Share Messaging About COVID-19
Alight Announces #InOurHands Global Campaign To Create Unity and Share Messaging About COVID-19 (image via Alight)
Alight, formerly known as the American Refugee Committee, has announced the global launch of the IN OUR HANDS campaign. 

Developed in conjunction with leading nonprofit design studio, IDEO.org, the campaign aims to unite people during a time of social distancing while also sharing bite-sized, positive messaging derived from World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines as a means to simply and effectively offer uplifting messages. 

Alight is joining forces with influencers, community leaders and partners around the world to help raise awareness and demonstrate how together, hand-in-hand, we can help slow the staggering rate at which COVID-19 continues to spread.
"We work closely with refugees in camps and settlements who don't have the systems in place to be protected from the coronavirus and also haven't necessarily received much information about the virus," says Alight's East Africa Representative Bernad Ochieng Ojwang. "So, as we've been working to prepare the communities of refugees and displaced people we serve every day for COVID-19, we knew we also wanted to create a campaign that could both reach other remote and marginalized communities with information and unite the global community against this global pandemic."
"Designers are looking to apply their creativity and craft to COVID-19 related efforts in this moment where their skills are most needed. We are optimistic that these messages can really shift behaviors and prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities in East Africa and around the world," says Jocelyn Wyatt, CEO of IDEO.org.
The campaign centers around influencers coming together to express love and solidarity with all of those doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 using #InOurHands. They are writing messages of love and solidarity on the palms of their hands, sharing it and encouraging others to do the same, with the hope to send love to more than 28.7 million people worldwide.

Influencers from all over the world are already participating and posting across their social channels, including international musician, K'naan, along with Natalia Tewa, Millard Ayo, Idris Sultan, Harmonize TZ, Benjamin Fernandes, George Kagwe, Aar Maanta and Ayaan Mohallim.

The Video:



About Alight:

Established in 1978 by founder Neal Ball, Alight, formerly known as American Refugee Committee, provides health care, clean water, shelter, protection and economic opportunities to more than 3.5 million people in 17 countries each year. 

Alight believes in the incredible creativity, potential, and ingenuity of the displaced and works to shine a light on their humanity, the tremendous amount of good that's already happening and the possibilities to do more. 

The organization exists to see and help every person make meaningful change in the world – from displaced and marginalized communities in Africa, Asia and the Americas to...anyone, anywhere. 

Learn more about Alight at www.wearealight.org.
SOURCE: Alight

9 April 2020

5 Reasons The World Needs WHO (World Health Organization) To Fight The COVID-19 Pandemic

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5 Reasons The World Needs WHO (World Health Organization) To Fight The COVID-19 Pandemic
5 Reasons The World Needs WHO (World Health Organization) To Fight The COVID-19 Pandemic (screengrab)

1) Helping countries to prepare and respond

WHO has issued a COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, which identifies the major actions countries need to take, and the resources needed to carry them out.

The plan, which is updated as fresh information and data improve WHO's understanding of the characteristics of the virus and how to respond, acts as a guide for developing country-specific plans.

The health agency's six regional offices, and 150 country offices, work closely with governments around the world to prepare their health systems for the ravages of COVID-19, and to respond effectively when cases arrive and begin to mount.

With partners, WHO set up the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, to ensure patients get the care they need, and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate research and development of a vaccine and treatments for all who need them.

With donations from governments, the private sector and individuals, more than $800 million has been pledged or received for the response so far.

2) Providing accurate information, busting dangerous myths

The internet is awash with information about the pandemic, some of it useful, some of it false or misleading. In the midst of this “infodemic”, WHO is producing accurate, useful guidance that can help save lives.

This includes around 50 pieces of technical advice for the public, health workers and countries, with evidence-based guidance on every element of the response, and exploding dangerous myths.

The health agency benefits from the expertise of a global network of health professionals and scientists, including epidemiologists, clinicians and virologists, to ensure that the response is as comprehensive, authoritative and representative as possible.

To ensure information is correct and helpful, WHO set up a team to give everyone access to timely, accurate and easy-to-understand advice, from trusted sources. In addition, daily situation reports and press briefings, as well as briefings with governments, are keeping the world informed about the latest data, information and evidence.

Many social media and tech companies are working closely with WHO to aid the flow of reliable information, including Instagram, Linkedin and TikTok; and chatbots on the Whatsapp and Viber platforms have garnered millions of followers, sending out timely updates and reports.

3) Ensuring vital supplies reach frontline health workers

Personal protective equipment is essential to ensure health professionals are able to save lives, including their own. So far, WHO has shipped more than two million items of personal protective equipment to 133 countries, and is preparing to ship another two million items in the coming weeks. More than a million diagnostic tests have been dispatched to 126 countries, in all regions, and more are being sourced.

However, far more is needed, and WHO is working with the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Economic Forum, and others in the private sector, to ramp up the production and distribution of essential medical supplies.

On 8 April, WHO launched a “UN COVID-19 Supply Chain Task Force”, which aims to dramatically increase the supply of essential protective equipment where it is needed.

4) Training and mobilizing health workers

WHO is aiming to train millions of health workers, via its OpenWHO platform. Thanks to this online tool, life-saving knowledge is being transferred to frontline personnel by the Organization, and its key partners.

Users take part in a worldwide, social learning network, based on interactive, online courses and materials covering a variety of subjects. OpenWHO also serves as a forum for the rapid sharing of public health expertise, and in-depth discussion and feedback on key issues. So far, more than 1.2 million people have enrolled in 43 languages.

Countries are also being supported by experts, deployed around the world by the WHO's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN). During outbreaks, the network ensures that the right technical expertise and skills are on the ground where and when they are needed most.

Emergency Medical Teams are also an important part of the global health workforce. These teams are highly trained, and self-sufficient, and are sent to places identified as disaster or emergency zones.

5) The search for a vaccine

Laboratories in many countries are already conducting tests that, it is hoped, will eventually lead to a vaccine. In an attempt to corral these efforts, WHO brought together 400 of the world's leading researchers in February, to identify research priorities.

The agency launched a “Solidarity Trial”, an international clinical trial, involving 90 countries, to help find effective treatment. The aim is to rapidly discover whether any existing drugs can slow the progression of the disease, or improve survival.

To better understand the virus, WHO has developed research protocols that are being used in more than 40 countries, in a coordinated way, and some 130 scientists, funders and manufacturers from around the world have signed a statement committing to work with WHO to speed the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.

Helping the poorest and most vulnerable

In his 8 April press briefing, Tedros said that WHO is involved with many other initiatives and actions, but all of them come under these five essential pillars.

The agency's focus, he said, is “on working with countries and with partners to bring the world together to confront this common threat together”.

A particular concern, he added, is for the world's poorest and most vulnerable, in all countries, and WHO is committed to “serve all people of the world with equity, objectivity and neutrality.”


SOURCE: UN News Centre

26 March 2020

Toastmasters' 10 Tips for Successful Online Meetings

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Toastmasters’ 10 Tips for Successful Online Meetings
Toastmasters’ 10 Tips for Successful Online Meetings
During this evolving and unprecedented time when personal and professional lives have been disrupted, many people are finding new and innovative ways to stay connected. Whether it's through Zoom, Skype, WebEx or one of the other popular video-conferencing platforms, it's now easier than ever to communicate with people around the globe.

Members of Toastmasters International have been meeting face-to-face for more than 95 years, but due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), most meetings have been temporarily moved online. Many members have found online meetings to be a great way to stay connected, keep momentum going, and provide a much-needed sense of routine in a time when many people's lives are altered, and social distancing is widespread.

To help ensure your meeting is a success, Toastmasters International offers these 10 tips for an efficient and productive online meeting:

  • Select a video-conferencing platform, and do a test run prior to the meeting
  • Meeting organizers should send attendees a copy of the agenda in advance
  • Choose a quiet location before joining the meeting to reduce potential distractions for both yourself and other attendees
  • Arrive on time or let the organizer know ahead of time if you will be late or unable to attend
  • Mute your microphone when not speaking
  • Adjust your camera so you can be seen, and look into the camera—not the monitor—when speaking
  • Dress as you would for an in-person meeting
  • Be aware of your background and make sure it's appropriate
  • Stay focused and avoid checking email or perusing other materials unrelated to the meeting
  • Respect fellow attendees by refraining from distracting behavior like eating or chewing gum

"I have come to love online meetings more than in-person meetings," says Manoj Vasudevan of Singapore, Toastmasters' 2017 World Champion of Public Speaking. "I find online meetings to be more convenient, less expensive, and less disruptive to my schedule. They even allow me to meet more people without leaving home."

23 March 2020

Gather Online to Celebrate Grassroots Climate Action in a FREE Event April 10 - 18, 2020

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Gather Online to Celebrate Grassroots Climate Action in a FREE Event April 10 - 18, 2020
Gather Online to Celebrate Grassroots Climate Action in a FREE Event April 10 - 18, 2020
Green Team Academy is proud to present the 2nd Annual Online Earth Week Summit. The free event features a full week of live online workshops and virtual happy hours open to the public.
"Earth Day is such a special time for coming together to celebrate our love and care for our planet," said Joan Gregerson, Summit Organizer and Founder of Green Team Academy. "This year, it's especially important to be able to collaborate and celebrate together online."
Recent developments with the coronavirus are impacting the plans for celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. Millions of people had planned to gather at hundreds of in-person events around the world. Most of those events are now being canceled due to public health risks.
"We're excited to host an online event that features a diverse array of community leaders and experts making a difference in their communities and the world," said Gregerson.
Gather Online to Celebrate Grassroots Climate Action in a FREE Event April 10 - 18, 2020
Gather Online to Celebrate Grassroots Climate Action in a FREE Event April 10 - 18, 2020

Special features of the event include:

  • Keynote address by forester, educator and musician, Dr. Thomas RaShad Easley of Yale University, presenting on Relationships, History and Hip Hop Forestry;
  • Online workshops featuring grassroots climate action initiatives with community leaders and experts;
  • Virtual happy hours for sharing positivity, questions and ideas;
  • Ability to participate in the UN75 Global Consultation
Dr. Thomas RaShad Easley presents on Relationships, History and Hip Hop Forestry: Thinking About Diversity and Inclusion in the Environment
Dr. Thomas RaShad Easley presents on Relationships, History and Hip Hop Forestry: Thinking About Diversity and Inclusion in the Environment
See complete schedule and register for free at www.EarthWeekSummit.com.
Green Team Academy helps people get together, make a difference and feel better by starting and growing thriving green teams in their communities.
Joan Gregerson, founder of Green Team Academy, is the host of the 2nd Annual Online Earth Week Summit: Grassroots Climate Action Celebration
Joan Gregerson, founder of Green Team Academy, is the host of the 2nd Annual Online Earth Week Summit: Grassroots Climate Action Celebration
Joan Gregerson is the founder of the Green Team Academy and host of the Green Team Academy Podcast. Joan is a coach, course creator, author and inspirational speaker. 

Joan is the author of the upcoming book, Climate Action Breakthrough: How Anyone Can Start a Green Team and Make a Huge Eco-Impact Fast.

Related Stories:

21 March 2020

Coronavirus: For Performers In Lockdown, Online Is Becoming The New Live

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Closed for the duration: the Royal Opera House, London.
Closed for the duration: the Royal Opera House, London. (Willy Barton via Shutterstock)
 There’s still a great deal of uncertainty as to what impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on the UK’s cultural life. More and more people are now choosing to self-isolate and theatres, cinemas, clubs and concert halls are closing down for the duration with talk that an enforced lockdown is ever more imminent. 

While initially presented as voluntary, cancellations of performances, conferences and other events were formalised on March 16 by the UK’s prime minister, Boris Johnson. Johnson advised citizens to “avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues” as part of a larger strategy to suppress the spread of coronavirus. People working in the arts sector are understandably concerned about what this might mean for the UK’s diverse community of artists and performers – as well as all those in the sector who support those performers.

The government has introduced some measures that aim to support the arts sector, both at a local and a national level. But a number of artists are trying to find ways to work from home by livestreaming their performances online. Such a shift forces artists to consider technological, economic and aesthetic issues – and may signal the dawning of a new era in live performance.

Have broadband, will perform

The livestreaming of artistic performances is not new – but until now the practice has not been a significant alternative to the live music economy at large. Perhaps the most common form of livestreaming has been through videos taken at gigs or festivals by audience members who want to share their experience of the live performance via footage shot on their smartphones.

But there have also been concentrated efforts by venues and artists to reach online audiences. A number of well-established organisations such as the Wigmore Hall and the Royal Shakespeare Company regularly complement existing performance series with livestreaming to reach wider audiences or as educational outreach.



Independent artists such as bass guitarist Steve Lawson, on the other hand, include livestreaming as part of a portfolio of online activity – which also include delivering lessons or masterclasses via video or the now-commonplace selling of albums online.

Virtual gigs

The vast amount of livestreaming that takes place in the arts sector is in parallel with (or contingent upon) face-to-face performance. There are signs that this is already changing as social restrictions around the coronavirus pandemic become more widespread.

In the US, Rolling Stone magazine has highlighted how larger bands and venues are working to quickly provide online alternatives to gigs and tours that have now been cancelled due to lockdowns.

The move towards online live performance is even attracting artists who might not be thought of as natural users of digital technology. As many New York City venues were closed in the week preceding St Patrick’s Day, musicians involved in the Irish trad scene formed Tune Supply – a platform by which they could provide “customised traditional music and dance performance and instruction delivered digitally for the socially distanced world”. 


Similarly, Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys livestreamed a concert from Boston on March 17 to make up for the first time in the band’s history that it hasn’t played on St Patrick’s Day.

As livestreaming concerts has historically been used to complement or advertise existing live events, the void left by the cancellation or indefinite postponement of these events forces online alternatives into greater importance. This shift in performance practice has logistical, financial, and artistic implications.

We have the technology

The infrastructure needed to livestream performances is readily available through consumer-level products. Modern smartphones are more than capable of generating high-definition videos, and the software needed to record and edit sound – something that was once the preserve of professional recording studios – has become relatively commonplace.

There’s obviously something of a learning curve involved in using this software adeptly, but there is a wealth of online resources for musicians to become more proficient producers. But beyond actually organising the performance, artists need to be able to ensure they have adequate bandwidth to transmit that performance to audiences. With increasing access to high-speed internet, the stage is set for potential viewers to access content with minimal lag and disruption.

Who’s making all the money?

Financially, artists will have to determine how they monetise these performances. Several models already exist to do so, each with unique features. Platforms such as YouTube allow artists to livestream performances and upload other videos, with income being generated through ad revenue. The amount of profit relies heavily on the amount of advertising and number of viewers – videos under ten minutes make, on average, about US$2.00 (£1.70) for every 1,000 views.

Twitch, on the other hand, works on a subscription basis – audiences pay set fees to access broadcasts of events. At the moment, this platform caters more towards professional online gaming, but there are also communities around the performing arts as well. Patreon also works on a subscription basis, but is more closely tied to crowdfunding. Generating work through the financial support of their audiences, artists often benefit from establishing positive relationships with them.

That ‘live’ feeling

Beyond the technological and financial logistics of livestreaming performances is a greater aesthetic issue. Livestreaming technically provides all of the ingredients to allow live music to persist in an era of social distancing. Artists can still provide high-quality audio and visual experiences to their audiences and audiences can still enjoy new music or their favourite hits, all without leaving their comfort of their own homes.

Glastonbury Festival has been cancelled, despite it being the 50th year.
Glastonbury Festival has been cancelled, despite it being the 50th year. (marietta peros via Shutterstock).
What may be harder to replicate is that electric vibe of being with other people in that moment. The audience can make or break a gig – not necessarily through sheer numbers, but in terms of what the relationship between them, the artist, and the music is like. For performers, reproducing that “live” feeling out of context can be a significant challenge.

As increasing numbers of musicians and audiences adopt this way of making and enjoying music together, I suspect all participants will develop a new set of expectations around where aesthetic value is placed in the performance.

This unprecedented global crisis provides an opportunity for artists to develop new ways of working with audiences and content to replicate that sense of “liveness” and connectivity found in a concert hall. Who knows? This might become an enduring part of a new reality.

About Today's Contributor:

J Murphy McCaleb, Senior Lecturer of Music, York St John University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

20 March 2020

EarthxFilm and EarthXR Reimagine The 2020 EarthxFilm Festival

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EarthxFilm and EarthXR Reimagine The 2020 EarthxFilm Festival
EarthxFilm and EarthXR Reimagine The 2020 EarthxFilm Festival (PRNewsfoto/EarthX)
EarthxFilm announced today that the fourth EarthxFilm festival will be reimagined to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day online with a selection from its 2020 Film, EarthXR and EDU lineups. EarthxFilm will join EarthX's 50th Earth Day Celebration with conferences and speakers, which will be livestreamed April 22-25.

Plans are in process for extended year-round programming, including a larger film festival in the fall, the EarthxGlobal Gala and the world premiere of The Way of the Rain – Hope For Earth, directed by Sibylle Szaggars Redford with a special narration – spoken word by Robert Redford.


EarthxFilm and EarthXR Reimagine The 2020 EarthxFilm Festival
EarthxFilm and EarthXR Reimagine The 2020 EarthxFilm Festival (screengrab)
The decision was shared in light of the rapidly developing news of COVID-19 and EarthxFilm's desire to put public safety first. 
EarthxFilm Co-Founder and President Michael Cain said, "This decision came after careful consideration and consultation with our team, partners, and city officials. We look forward to offering the audiences of Dallas another wonderful EarthxFilm slate of movies, XR experiences, educational opportunities and panels both online in April and in-person throughout the year in Dallas, and across the country and with international partners."
On April 22, the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, EarthxFilm will also announce the films and filmmakers selected by this year's juries who will receive $20,000 in prize money. 
EarthxFilm Artistic Director David Holbrooke added, "We are immensely proud of the outstanding programming we assembled for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. We think it's important to recognize the incredible work these filmmakers have achieved and will move ahead with our juried prizes to award the cash winnings that help make a difference for the filmmakers, many of whom are still telling their stories at this challenging time."
EarthxFilm Executive Producer, Paul Levatino says, "We are thrilled that the Good Pitch Local Texas, co-produced with Doc Society, will be rescheduled to coincide with our Fall Festival. The EarthxGlobalGala, which honors environmental heroes with the EarthxGlobal Impact Awards and features entertainers Skip Martin of Kool & The Gang, Bastards Of Soul and Compton Kidz Club, will also be rescheduled for fall."
"Leading to our fall festival, EarthXR will continue our commitment to year-round programming through international partnerships, including a green series with Guanajuato International Film Festival, Overview Collective + Garage Stories' series, and curation for the April online ARTS x SDGSs Festival, which brings together UN and non-profit leaders," says Tiffany Kieran, Director of XR Programming and Partnerships.
"We are also excited about our year-round immersive experiential location, opening in Dallas, Texas in 2020. It will feature the US debut of Wild Immersion endorsed by Jane Goodall - the first virtual wildlife reserve in the US to connect, educate, and protect our environment," said Kieran.
EarthxFilm and EarthXR Reimagine The 2020 EarthxFilm Festival
EarthxFilm and EarthXR Reimagine The 2020 EarthxFilm Festival (screengrab)
EarthxFilm Education is extending the #Planet911challenge youth film competition in collaboration with CreativeVisions and Instagram. The new deadline is April 8, and winning films will be screened online April 22 and in a theatre at one of the EarthX Half-Earth Day Events in October. 
Melanie Yonks, Director of Education and Outreach says, "We are working in collaboration with Planet911, Rock Your World, teachers and youth organizations to let them know about our online K-12 STEAM curriculum and to develop additional virtual and interactive opportunities for youth while they are in quarantine."
"Trammell Crow and I started this film festival because we saw how the world was being challenged environmentally. That hasn't changed and we remain committed as ever to this cause," concluded Cain. "We support the storytellers who have the power to change the world."

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About EarthxFilm:

EarthxFilm, co-founded by Trammell S. Crow and Michael Cain was launched in 2017 at the annual EarthX event to showcase the films and emerging media that explore environmental science, conservation, and climate change. In its mission to turn awareness into action through art and interactive media, the nonprofit partners and develops experiences with top environmental, film, and entertainment organizations across the globe. 

EarthxFilm presents year-round programs culminating in a 10-day festival yearly.

About EarthXR:

EarthXR, a subdivision of EarthxFilm, is dedicated to immersive and interactive storytelling designed to engage and inspire environmental awareness and action through emerging technology. 

At the EarthX events, it has hosted the world's largest lineup of eco-interactive programming, presenting scores of virtual, augmented and mixed reality experiences.

About EarthX:

EarthX convenes the world's largest environmental expo, conference and film festival, and is a member of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

Founded in 2011 by environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, the Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promotes environmental awareness and impact through conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration and community-driven sustainable solutions. 

In 2019, the event drew over 177,000 attendees, 2,000 environmental business leaders, 700 exhibitors, 450 speakers, 63 films and 49 Eco-virtual reality experiences.

SOURCE: EarthX

19 March 2020

EarthX to Host Earthx2020 Virtually

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Earthx2020 in Partnership with the National Geographic Society will be held VIRTUALLY from April 22-27 to mark the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day
Earthx2020 in Partnership with the National Geographic Society will be held VIRTUALLY from April 22-27 to mark the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. (image via EarthX)
In light of the rapidly developing news of COVID-19, CDC guidelines, and new City of Dallas requirements, EarthX will host its Earthx2020 Conferences and Film Festival virtually and cancel its Expo for the year. 

Most conferences will be presented virtually from April 23-25 and into May. EarthxEnergy's Responsible Energy Acquisition conference and the EarthxLaw conference will be held live in the fall. 

The 50th Earth Day Celebration will be livestreamed on April 22. The virtual experience will be layered with EarthxFilm Festival programming of select 2020 films, which will then present its physical Film Festival in the fall along with the EarthxGlobalGala and the world premiere of The Way of the Rain – Hope For Earth, directed by Sibylle Szaggars Redford with a special narration – spoken word by Robert Redford.
"EarthX continues to move our mission forward to connect, collaborate and celebrate. Our mission is relevant, and this global situation is a great example of how interconnected we are to each other and the planet," said Tony Keane, EarthX CEO.
EarthX places the health and safety of attendees, staff, and event participants as its highest priority and has taken these actions in compliance with the guidelines set forth by local, state, and federal government health agencies.
"Collaboration and connectedness are critical as we seek to further the National Geographic Society's mission to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world," said Michael L. Ulica, president and CEO of the National Geographic Society. "We look forward to continuing to partner with EarthX to reach new audiences through the Earthx2020 virtual experience."
"EarthX remains unwavering in its commitment to shed light on the environmental challenges facing our planet, and this recent crisis has been a testament to our strength in collectively spreading awareness and seeking solutions in the face of adversity," said Trammell S. Crow, Founder of EarthX. "We are all in this together."

About EarthX:

EarthX convenes the world's largest environmental expo, conference and film festival, and is a member of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature. Founded in 2011 by environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, the Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promotes environmental awareness and impact through conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration and community-driven sustainable solutions. 

In 2019, the event drew over 177,000 attendees, 2,000 environmental business leaders, 700 exhibitors, 450 speakers, 63 films and 49 Eco-virtual reality experiences.

About The National Geographic Society:

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. 

Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content.

To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org

SOURCE: EarthX

17 March 2020

Aza Comics Superheroes, The Keepers, Help Relieve Cabin Fever

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Aza Comics Superheroes, The Keepers, Help Relieve Cabin Fever
Aza Comics
Aza Comics, known for its roster of multicultural female superheroes, is aiming to do all that it can to help save everyone from the Coronavirus blues. 

The company has assembled an assortment of online games, puzzles, superhero quizzes, music playlists, dance challenges, Women's History Month trivia and more to help entertain everyone as more and more people are finding it necessary to stay home due to the coronavirus. 
 "Schools are closing down, people are working from home, events are being cancelled...including our own events that we just announced. This thing is affecting all of us," says CEO and creator of Aza Comics, Jazmin Truesdale. "It's only a matter of time before we're all getting cabin fever sitting at home waiting this thing out."
Aza Comics is even hosting an online cosplay contest that adults and kids can participate in for prizes. People can dress up as Aza Characters or any other superhero that they wish, post images via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and tag Aza Comics. Participants with the best and most creative costumes can win gifts and cash prizes. 
 "It's like a virtual comic con that the world can participate in," says Truesdale. "I'm pretty excited to see what kinds of things people come up with. I mean, if we're all going to be stuck at home, we might as well make the most of it."
Aza Comics will also include tips for helping to fight the coronavirus as recommended by the CDC so that everyone can do their part and keep themselves and others safe. 

Aza Comics Superheroes, The Keepers, Help Relieve Cabin Fever
Aza Comics 
Games and entertainment will go live at 12am March 17th, 2020 via this link: azacomics.shop/blogs/news/aza-comics-home-fight-coronavirus

Aza Comics is a superhero brand based in Durham, North Carolina founded by serial entrepreneur and author Jazmin Truesdale. 

The company is known for its multicultural female superheroes and philanthropic initiatives that have been featured in Vogue, TIME, USA Today, and various other national and international publications.

SOURCE: Aza Comics

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