( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Airbnb Experience Brings Music and Theater to Home
ENSPIRE Contributor: Logan Floyd
With COVID-19 having forced theaters around the world to close, Airbnb is offering Broadway stars and fans alike the chance to connect online and celebrate the art of performance. On Aug. 19th, Airbnb launched a new curated collection of online experiences designed to take fans behind the scenes of their favorite Broadway and West End shows. Airbnb teamed up with actor and Broadway veteran Tituss Burgess, from “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” at launch to shine a spotlight on the collection, which for a limited time, will feature a special series by Burgess explaining the process of storytelling through song. With the pandemic having forced a staggering amount of people in the arts and entertainment industry out of a job, Airbnb’s Broadway Collection supports creative workers affected by the virus and helps keep their craft alive.
In addition to Burgess, the collection also features other Broadway stars. Including choreographer Edgar Godineaux, who showed the signature dance moves of the famous all-black musical group, The Temptations. Susan Egan, Laura Osnes, and Courtney Reed, who share a look at their work as Broadway princesses, and Aisha Jackson, who performs some of her favorite gospel songs with her two siblings, Dri Jack and Victor Jackson.
Along with the major stars are individuals of lesser-renown, including actors, singers, set designers, and dancers not just from Broadway or West End, but 33 different countries around the world. These creative talents reveal the essentials of their work, regaling viewers not only with music and dance but the stories and hard work that goes behind them.
Airbnb’s Broadway Collection helps support these lesser-known artists, many of whom have found themselves struggling in the wake of COVID-19. In an April 2020 survey by Americans for the Arts, it revealed that 62 percent of artists have become unemployed. An Oxford Economics study further found that 95 percent of creative workers just in the United States have experienced income loss.
Interestingly, 22 percent of Airbnb Experiences hosts report that they or a member of their household are an artist or musician. With this in mind, Airbnb has begun collaborating with the Actors Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting aspiring artists in the US. In partnership with the Actors Fund, Airbnb is helping artists all over the country stay connected to their audience and earn extra income during the pandemic. The Broadway Collection is just the start; hundreds of artists utilize Airbnb’s Online Experience platform to support their creative endeavors through 2020.
The novel coronavirus has taken an unfortunate toll on the arts and entertainment industry, with many artists struggling to find work during a time they are not considered “essential.” Yet Airbnb’s Broadway Collection has enabled performance artists to support themselves while sharing their love for music, dance, and the theater with their dedicated fans. Although not deemed “essential” during the time of COVID-19, creative artists are proving their worth as purveyors of culture, inspiration, and more thanks to Airbnb.