CAMDEN, NJ — COVID-19 has thrown many Camden and Greater Philadelphia area artists for a loop. 

Whether it be contracts that never came to fruition due to closures, difficulty accessing funds at their disposal or, simply, the creative and mental constraints caused by sheltering in place two months and running. 

This Friday, the inaugural Camden Artist’s Summit — which will be held via Zoom — plans to gather some of the region’s most creative minds to help creators navigate the hardships of the pandemic.

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“With what we’re all facing we felt the need to reach out to artists, whether they’re established or just starting, and have a conversation about what struggles they’re seeing and how we can help,” Kenneth Savage III, who founded iCreate Productions with Justin DeGuzman in 2017, told TAPinto Camden. 

iCreate, which provides digital and business tools to, among other, creators, entrepreneurs, and inventors, will focus its portion of the interactive summit on the power of social media, understanding ads, and effective ways to create content given the current restrictions.

“We’re seeing the situation right now with friends having a hard time paying bills and dealing with other duties at home as well,” said Savage. “We hope the summit helps them too. Not only in figuring out funds they may be able to access but to try getting out of that COVID depression many are feeling.”

The summit was organized by Connect the Lots Camden, and includes contributions from Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, Rutgers Camden Center for the Arts, Fireworks Gallery, the Fashion Design Institute and Jypsea Leather Goods.

Camden-based photographer, Erik James Montgomery of EJM Photography and city school advisory board member Nyemah Gillespie will be on hand as guest speakers. 

Topics of discussion will include self care for creatives, professionalizing your career, staying confident and creative during this time, income streams for artists during stay-at-home orders, and what artists can look forward to after COVID-19.

“We'll share ideas about ongoing survival strategies, offer support and empathy, and brainstorm about how we can participate creatively in this great sea change,” Camden FireWorks organizers said ahead of the event. 

Registration for the summit is required.

Questions can be sent to vchandler@coopersferry.com.

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