COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the Maltese artistic and performing arts community. The overwhelming majority of local performers have found themselves out of work and without any means to bring their work to the public.
The recently announced safety measures for live performances have not eased this situation. While the measures are necessarily stringent, they unfortunately make it impossible for any independent (non-state funded) producer to create a financially-viable or sustainable live performance.
This is why the Comedy Knights – the popular comedy troupe behind the annual Christmas show – decided that it’s time for independent Maltese performers, artists and creative practitioners to unite!
The Comedy Knights are proud to introduce Artists You Knighted, a special online showcase and fund-raising event by performers for performers that will have long-lasting positive effects on our cultural scene.
Artists You Knighted is a live streamed marathon event, hosted by the Comedy Knights on 6 June 2020.
Maltese artists from across the performing arts spectrum will showcase elements of their work live from their own home or work space. From relative newcomers to the biggest names in Maltese entertainment, performers are coming together as one to try and save their industry from COVID-19.
During the event, the public will have the opportunity to comment, ask questions and interact with the performers as well as donate money to support these artists.
Half of all proceeds will go straight to the performers to help them get through this difficult time. The rest of the proceeds will go towards setting up an NGO with the aim of uniting local performing artists in their support of one another over the long term. Those proceeds will also allow the artists taking part to create more socially-distanced, original work for the Maltese public.
Donations will be received by FTZ Community Foundation – a not-for-profit foundation through ticketline.com.mt – and will be audited by an independent auditor to ensure that all funds are used appropriately and as promised.
“These are difficult times for everyone, but it increasingly seems like the performing arts industry will be among the hardest hit, taking the longest to return to its pre-COVID days,” says producer Wesley Ellul. “Some experts believe that theatres will not re-open until 2021 at the earliest.
“Instead of waiting around for government handouts, Maltese creative entrepreneurs are stepping forward and exploring ways of evolving our local arts scene.
“On 6 June, from 7-11pm, let’s celebrate and support the spirit of creativity and enterprise that drives Maltese creatives to entertain, move, educate, research, document and innovate in ways that enrich our lives in theatres, schools, cinemas, streets, clubs, bars, events and homes,” Mr Ellul says.
Confirmed performers taking part in the livestream event include Tony Award Nominated & American Idol Finalist Constantine Maroulis, the Comedy Knights, Skarlet, Renzo Spiteri, Danusan, Min Imissu, Moveo Dance Company, Studio 18, Gaia Cauchi, Kevin Paul Calleja, Warren Bonello, West End Performer Colin Zammit Lupi, Joe Roscoe, Peter Borg from Red Electrick, Contact-Dance, Cikku l-Poplu, Nico Darmanin, Maltese Motion and many others.
“Let’s make sure that we are not the generation that allowed Maltese creativity to fall to the virus. Performers for performers, as artists united,” Mr Ellul adds.
Artists You Knighted will be produced by The Comedy Knights on 6 June 2020. It will be streamed live on Lovin Malta, XFM and Comedy Knights Facebook pages as well as YouTube. For more information visit www.artistsyouknighted.com.
Photo – Constantine Maroulis