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GAP Grant Impact Stories

Staying Connected, Informed, and Entertained! | Charles Kavoossi

Charles Kavoossi has been working as a self-booking, full-time performing musician for about five years. Prior to March 2020, he worked four gigs a week, and made additional income from weddings, private parties, and guitar lessons.

When the pandemic shut down the local music, Charles turned the challenges into an opportunity. He tells us that Anne Arundel County GAP funding “allowed me to focus on learning new skills and acquire the appropriate equipment needed in order to sustain myself through a rapidly-shifting industry and adapt to new ways of creating art and an income for myself. Being able to integrate my performances and music-based engineering and producing into an almost fully web-based world has kept me afloat.”

Charles is also the face behind Naptownmusic, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting our local music scene. They promote musical artists, compile an online calendar of music events, and film, live-stream, and photograph music events in and around the city of Annapolis. Through their website, social media page, and mobile app, Annapolis locals and visitors can easily find upcoming performances, and learn more about the musicians and performers of Annapolis.

Normally, advertising of music venues, retailers, and events funds Naptownmusic’s operations, but at source dried up last spring when COVID restrictions took hold. GAP funding helped to compensate for this lost revenue. It also enabled Naptownmusic to afford the materials and media production equipment they needed to adjust to a new internet-focused format. Charles says, “We hope to find ourselves continuing on and adapting to new and effective ways to help the Annapolis music community stay connected, informed, and entertained!”

To connect and learn more about Charles Kavoossi, visit www.kavoossimusic.com/

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A Sigh of Relief | Building Better People Productions

Incorporated in 2015, Building Better People (BBP) is a theater company for young audiences that produces shows with themes centered around kindness and understanding. Normally BBP tours schools, offers drama classes, hosts summer camps, and performs for public audiences. But when COVID hit, BBP was forced to cancel all of their in-person programming. Moving performances online helped to generate some revenue, but it wasn’t enough to cover production costs and operating expenses like insurance and professional subscriptions.

Receiving the Anne Arundel County GAP Arts Organization grant “was a huge sigh of relief” said Founding Artistic Director Lynne Childress. It enabled BBP to produce two shows that they would have been unable to offer. The first is a virtual tour of our original show Friendlier Fables and Thoughtful Tales, offered to schools and families and performed and streamed live online. Originally planned for in-schools during the 2020-21 academic year, the pandemic of course made that impossible. Using the GAP funding to pay creative staff and pay for props, costumes, and marketing enabled BBP to offer performances to schools and families at a greatly reduced rate.

The second project is an innovative interactive virtual show being developed by and starring Ms. Childress and a colleague, who invite kids to be a part of the action. Each performance has a small audience of about 10 families, who receive instructions ahead of time to assemble props from around the house to use during the show. This Zoom-based program gives kids a chance to connect online with the performers in ways that they can’t otherwise do in larger groups.

Moving programming online has also expanded BPP’s reach, enabling them to perform for a national audience. “I really can’t express enough the feeling of relief we have,” said Ms. Childress. Having weathered the economic uncertainty of the pandemic with assistance from GAP grant, BBP is now able to focus exclusively on their mission of creating, performing, and reaching children and families.

To connect and learn more about Building Better People Productions, visit bbpproductions.com/

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The COVID-19 Relief Grants for the Arts Program (GAP) funding made possible by County Executive Steuart Pittman and the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County. 

 

Click here for information regarding the Anne Arundel County GAP Grant for Independent Artists 

Click here for information regarding the Anne Arundel County GAP Grant for Arts Organizations

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