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Tip Jar - Africatown Media provides a new platform for performing artists hard hit by COVID.

DJ Topspin aka Blendiana Jones live on "Tip Jar"

By Omari "The Big O" Salisbury

Many in our community are performing artists and they represent a segment of our community that has been very hard hit due to a loss of gigs from the COVID shutdown. Many performing artists are in the informal employment sector which makes them some of the most vulnerable and marginalized in our society during this crisis.

Africatown Media currently delivers 3 hours of live news, information, and interviews to our community every Monday - Friday from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM during the Morning Update Show which is streamed live on the Africatown Facebook page. Africatown Media is uniquely positioned within the urban new ecosystem in the Seattle area to deliver culturally relevant live content broadcasted online from our studios located at Black Dot Underground in the Central District of Seattle.

Africatown Media is stepping up to do our part to support performing artists in our community.

Moving forward, Africatown Media will dedicate the final hour of the Morning Update Show from the hours of 12pm to 1pm to highlighting local performing artists with a new segment called “Tip Jar”.

During Tip Jar, a local performing artists (Singer, DJ, comedian) will be able to perform live for the public and also display their Cashapp, Venmo, or PayPal info on screen and the viewing public can then donate or “Tip” the artist for the performance.

Screenshot of DJ Topspin's Tip Jar session and some of the comments on the live stream.

While a Tip Jar session will not solve any artists financial woes during this crisis it is a step in the positive that allows artists to perform (which is great for their mental health) and as well to entertain the public (and ease anxiety) and as well pull in a few bucks all at the same time.

What about maintaining a safe “Social Distance”?

Photo of the Tip Jar set, there is an abundance of space and very few people.

The picture can probably best describe the studio environment on the current Africatown Media Morning Update Tip Jar set. As you can see there is just the DJ (DJ Topspin) and the Director (Darryl Glover) so there is an abundance of free space on set for an abundance of social distancing.

Why is Africatown Media broadcasting? What about the “Shelter in place, Stay Home” order?

Africatown Media is a full fledged member of the media. We are a digital media outlet that delivers very important and needed news and culturally relevant information to our community daily. The news media, especially at this time is considered “essential” and is operating as usual this is why CNN, Q13, and the Seattle Times for example are all open and working, granted they like us, have adjusted operations to ensure a safe environment for all.

Are you a performing artist and want to be a guest on Tip Jar? Please email Acacia@AfricatownMedia.com
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