Due to the COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, pandemic, many businesses have been forced to close their doors under the stay-at-home orders issued by their respective state, closing all “non-essential” businesses in the process. Since the start of the pandemic, over 700,000 jobs have been lost leaving nearly 30 million to file for unemployment benefits and causing an economic depression.
In addition to the small business community, independent artists have also suffered a heavy economic loss due to the public health crisis. A group of HBCU graduates decided to take their event series online to help artists in the community and around the world.
Co-founded by Adrienne Cole and Melody Short, the Richmond Night Market is going into its second year to highlight independent artists in the community. Instead of postponing or pivoting into another venture, the entrepreneurs decided to keep the market alive and thriving by making it virtual to allow artists from all over the world to participate.
Last month’s event brought in over $12,000 in sales with 100% of the sales going to the participating artists. The artisans’ websites will remain linked to the event’s website for 30 full days after the event takes place so attendees can purchase art.
The upcoming Night Market will once again feature independent artists and small businesses showcasing their work in an innovative virtual format on Saturday, May 9 from 5 -10 P.M through Instagram Live. It will allow attendees to learn about what inspires the creation of a piece of art and give them the chance to purchase the art whenever they want from their home.