Online Originals: Live music slowly playing out in Greenville

Online Originals

(Victoria Holmes, WNCT photo)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Musicians had to figure out a way to make a living in isolation. Some have played music on live stream but that hasn’t been as supportive income from music halls.

Now, with more people getting COVID-19 vaccines and places like bars opening back up after lockdown restrictions, musicians are ready to play in front of a crowd.

McKenzie Shelton is one of those musicians. She’s a folk artist from Greenville. Shelton said right now the artist scene is in a weird state of flux but they’re adapting to everyone’s comfort level.

If you want to come in person, that’s your prerogative, you can. If you prefer to stay home, since I’m playing Molly’s Community Café, order some food, some kombucha, something and get it to go and enjoy the show from your house.  

McKenzie Shelton

Shelton said not a lot of COVID relief has gone to artists and encourages people to know their local art community.

She’s playing at Molly’s Community Cafe in Uptown Greenville Friday night. For live musicians like Shelton, COVID has impacted their livelihood.

Nine On Your Side also talked with Sarah Lazure with the Pitt County Arts Council about the local art scene.

Artists often rely on in-person events like music halls or galleries to make a living. But COVID shut down many of those places. 

Lazure said they’ve helped artists with funding but many still face economic challenges and had to get creative with online transaction platforms like Venmo. 

The Arts Council has opened up its gallery with CDC restrictions to support selling artwork and shares music events to help musicians. Lazure said it’s these artists’ work that helps people during hard times. 

Jimmy Williams with Molly’s Community Café said they’re opening up their space for live events. Williams, who is a co-owner, said it was a push from the local community that prompted them to create a space for musicians.

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