GREENSBORO — Like every other performing artist, Rhiannon Giddens has faced the postponement or cancellation of performances because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Her tour in Japan. The Spoleto Festival USA in May in Charleston, S.C., with Francesco Turrisi. The Fes Festival in Morocco. All canceled.
“We will get through this together, and we will be back on the road again just as soon as we can,” Giddens said in Japanese in a Facebook video announcing her tour there as canceled.
Luckily, her planned appearance in her hometown’s Greensboro Opera production of “Porgy and Bess” is still on for Nov. 13 and 15 at Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.
But “Omar,” another opera that she composed and planned to premiere at Spoleto on May 22, has been postponed to 2021.
In the meantime, the pandemic hasn’t stopped the Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” recipient from continuing to make music and helping other artists.
On April 22, Our Native Daughters’ supergroup members Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Allison Russell and Leyla McCalla will perform as part of Shut In & Sing.
In 2019, the four joined forces on the album, “Songs of Our Native Daughters.”
The live-streamed music festival features a long list of songwriters staying connected virtually through music and community during COVID-19 quarantines.
Rhiannon will livestream her performance from 3 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern time on April 22 as part of a special Our Native Daughters Take-Over event.
The other Daughters will perform in 30-minute segments each following her.
Giddens also has worked with musical artist Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls and writer Neil Gaiman to release “Art is Alive,” a COVID-19 online directory of resources for artists.
The website at artliveson.com offers a comprehensive list of grants for creatives and freelancers to apply for, funds for artists and patrons to contribute to, and hosts a calendar of upcoming live stream events.
“This is an unprecedented moment in history, and millions of artists are falling quickly through the cracks,” it reads.
“While millions of people stay at home listening to music and watching movies, the same artists who create the stories and myths and dance-music we all love are the very same people who may be wondering how they are going to feed their kids next month.”
“We are hoping that this website can act as a kind of general yellow pages for the current money emergency in the art and music world,” it says. “We like to call it our COVID-19 directory of give and take.”
They also have partnered with the Artist Relief Tree at artistrelieftree.com.
ART is an online fundraiser created by artists, for artists, supporting those affected financially by COVID-19.
Artists can learn what resources are available. And patrons can donate to help.
For those who would like to sample the music of Giddens and Turrisi in a ballet setting, watch “Trees on the Mountain” on YouTube.
The choreographic film is set to the song from “There is No Other.” It features Nashville Ballet company artists Mollie Sansone, Brett Sjoblom and Owen Thorne.
And be sure to catch Giddens’ November performances in “Porgy and Bess.”