With COVID-19 precautions and restrictions keeping Fairbanksans at home and public gatherings limited, local artists, singers and health experts are going online to livestream their talents.
Here’s a sampling of what’s available online around Fairbanks and who’s putting the events on.
John Shewfelt Jr.
John Shewfelt Jr., whose band Shot Time regularly performs around Alaska, took to Facebook Live for a long song set on Sunday.
“The reason why I do mini-concerts on Facebook Live boils down to one word — escape. Music has always been my escape from reality. My self-medication. Music is universal. Many of us relate a song to certain memories. Whether it be sad or happy. So when I go live, I provide an escape for not only myself but for others tuning into the broadcast.
“The feedback I get from my live videos is amazing. I am blessed to have a lot of people with a positive mindset watch and interact with my videos. I’m not saying that I’m against criticism, but constructive criticism. I have a positive mindset, so I promote positivity. I’m very fortunate to have fans that feel the same way.
“I’m planning on making these mini-concerts a weekly event. My goal is to bring other musicians I know as special guests on the Live feed. Play a few covers, originals and maybe even write a new song on the spot. The possibilities are endless with music.”
You can can watch Shewfelt’s performances on his Facebook page and find out more about the band at www.facebook.com/johnshewfeltjrandshottime.
The PWR House
The PWR House is a Fairbanks-based fitness/dance and cycling studio that’s offering virtual classes to keep Fairbanks fit and active during the shutdown.
“We are currently offering free online live virtual classes. Including cycling, treadmill, elliptical and simple living room cardio. We are also offering online free nutrition and immunity-boosting classes/workshops to educated clients about nutrition and keeping themselves healthy with licensed MDs and medical professionals. We are also offering recorded workouts on our website for those who cannot access the classes while they are live,” said trainer and instructor Stephanie Woodard.
You can sign up online for an account for free to receive meeting login information daily. You can also visit their special landing page on their website made just for COVID19 shutdown, at www.thepwrhouse907.com.
X-Rock 95.9 FM
“I am currently the only one of our stations broadcasting from home at the moment,” said Glenner Anderson, who heads up X-Rock’s morning show. “We are down to a skeleton crew so I am also still coming in to work during the day as we lay down voice tracks for other parts of the day but it is important during morning and afternoon drive to be as live as possible particularly during this current situation. So far the most difficult thing about broadcasting from home is keeping Wilson the kitten away from all of the wires. He knocked off a Black Sabbath song midway through yesterday stepping across my keyboard. He’s a real pain in my a--.
“However I’ve noticed a huge increase in our online listening audience as more and more people are listening from home either through our radio app, online or our live stream from the website and many folks have us tuned in on their Alexa device or other smart speaker. I’m also throwing in Facebook Live posts throughout the morning from the house. The theme of live radio during these times is always quite the juggling act, you want to give people the correct information and keep them up-to-date while at the same time not beating them over the head with this nightmare we’re all dealing with day in and day out. We need to be here also as an escape and an opportunity to bring a little normalcy to everyone’s life and to calm them down and reassure him that everything is going to be OK. We’re currently acting as cheerleaders for fair banks as much as we possibly can.”
North Star All Stars (All Star Cheerleading gym)
“We are doing many things for both the public and our athletes. For our athletes, we are holding daily challenges via Facebook for the teams and practices via Zoom to keep them in shape. For the public, check out our Facebook page where our athletes are reading nightly stories at 7 p.m., a scavenger hunt around your home on Friday, and whatever else our talented team can pull out of their brains!”
You can find them at North Star All Stars on Facebook, and the gym is lead by owner/coach Angela Foster.
Fairbanks Yoga is a local studio that opened about three years ago. Jacie Sturm is the owner and has been teaching in yoga in Fairbanks for about eight years.
“Creating a supportive yoga community in Fairbanks has been a goal of mine since I first started teaching, and it’s cool to explore a new platform to help make it happen online now too. We’ve had people from Fairbanks as well as all across the country and the world (Germany, NZ, and Australia to name a few) join in on our online classes. We’re teaching online yoga classes from the Fairbanks Yoga studio through Zoom.”
All of their information can be found online at FairbanksYoga.com/events, and they’re offering classes at a sliding scale: $0, $8 or $15.
“This way people can take a class for free if strapped for cash but also if they’re wanting to make a larger donating it helps keep us small business alive,” Sturm said.
Ken Brown and Crooked Road
“Fiddler John Adams and I did a 90 minute concert ‘live’ on Facebook last Friday, March 20,” Ken Brown of Ken Brown and Crooked Road said. “We didn’t know just how poor the Facetime audio was, however, or we would have stopped right away. We did get positive feedback from people in Fairbanks and Nuiqsut (where I taught last year), so it was worth doing. One of our friends from Arizona said he sang along with all our songs. If we do something like this again, we will probably film it with better audio and video, then post it to Facebook and YouTube later, to improve the quality. It’s been fun watching ‘live’ concerts by former Fairbanks fiddler Beth Christman from Austin, Texas.”
The band can be found online at www.facebook.com/kenbrown.crookedroad.
Leaps and Bounds with Nick Hudson
Fairbanks singer and dancer Nick Hudson is taking is music project, Leaps and Bounds, online.
“I am playing live music, originals and cover songs, through Facebook Live because I was inspired by other artists around the world that are putting their music and art out through social media outlets. I think it’s a great idea to keep people entertained during this uncertain time of having to quarantine and stay inside,” Hudson said.
You can watch on Facebook by going to the “Leaps and Bounds Music” page and tuning in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7 p.m. Alaska time.
Fairbanks Academy of Children’s Theatre
Fairbanks Academy of Children's Theatre, called FACT, is starting a series of online shows and workshops including acting classes, YouTube shows, and their own postponed show, “Aladdin, Jr.”
“People can check out our YouTube channel at Fairbanks Academy of Children's Theatre, visit our website fairbanksact.com or check us on Insta and FB for live workshops and classes.”
Jennifer Wienke and Jill Rosholt are FACT’s directors. Some of the on-going classes will have a fee and some will be free.
Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre
Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre is bringing back the old fashioned radio play, tentatively slated for April 10 to be aired on KUAC FM 89.9. They’ll be performing “As You Like It.”
“We haven’t settled on an exact date with all of the changes that are happening at KUAC and UAF campus,” said Tom Robenolt, producing artistic director.
“From your home! Rehearsals will be on FB Live for additional coverage,” he said. “We’ll keep people updated on FB and an e-blast. Exact date will be announced over FB when it is settled.
A virtual First Friday
Artist Cinnamon Dockham is setting up a virtual Friday Friday for her upcoming art show at Hoarfrost Distilling, 3501 Lathrop St., Unit F.
“I am attempting to provide a virtual art gallery in in place of my First Friday event, originally scheduled to premier at Hoarfrost Distilling on April 3. People should follow all of Hoarfrost Distilling’s posts for links to the gallery. Information about how to purchase artwork will also be available.”
Fairbanks Concert Association
“We’re posting material by guest artists, local artists doing fun things, and as we work our way through, we may solicit content from our artists to channel to teachers to send to their students at home,” Fairbanks Concert Association Executive Director Anne Biberman said. “Like everyone, we are trying to find ways of bringing the arts to people digitally. The impulse for many of us doing this work is to nurture, to communicate, to work things out through creative expression, to bring us all together. The arts have provide solutions to problems, both societal and personal. So this new reality feels counter-intuitive. But the new impulse is still to try to fill that need, by offering content and encourage creativity from others.”
To keep creativity flowing, FCA is letting you create a Fantasy Season in which you curate your own concerts. Here’s how Biberman broke it down:
“You are the curator for FCA’s season. You have an infinite amount of funds and resources and there are no scheduling conflicts and every artist you could ever want would say YES! Over the next week, your job is to post at least one video per day of a different artist/s that would perform during your FCA Fantasy Season. Pick ANY ARTIST YOU’D LIKE! Living or dead, local, national or international. Any genre. As a curator for FCA’s Fantasy Season, you not only get to share and build your dream program but as a curator, every like you get on your posts counts at a vote. At the end of your week as the featured FCA Fantasy Season curator, all your votes will be counted and tallied and the curator with the most votes will win two season tickets to FCA’s 2020-2021 season. Here are the rules for the week:
1) You have seven days, your week is Monday through Sunday.
2) At a minimum, you must post a video once a day (but are welcome to post any type of content as many times as you would like, i.e. want to share articles or photos of your favorite performers- do it!)
3) Your first post must be an introduction post that includes a photo of yourself. Tell us a little about yourself, who are you and what kind of performances we can expect from you during your FCA Fantasy Program.
4) All your posts must include the following language: This content is a part of FCA’s Fantasy Program where you are the curator and choose the artists. Likes count as votes. The curator with the most likes, will win season tickets to the 2020-2021 season.”
You can find the link at shorturl.at/lxOPT.
“So for why are we doing it?” Biberman said. “Our role is to connect people, to artists and to each other, and to provide fun.”
The Great Alaskan Bowl Company
“Just this past week we closed our doors to only pickup or delivery while still shipping state and country wide due to COVID-19. To counter this challenging time and cater to our customers and fans online now more than ever, my husband Dan has been ramping up video and photo features on Facebook and Instagram,” said Emily Berriochoa, who’s father owns the business. “This is a great way to entertain in a way that both educates and hopefully produces orders. We are so passionate about all the different Made in Alaska vendors we carry, and the way we create our items, it is a perfect opportunity to dig into those stories and products more in depth.
“We have viewers and comments from all over — yesterday we heard from an old employee who misses the magic of oiling bowls to someone in Michigan who loved visiting our shop on a past visit. It gives everyone a healthy distraction and makes us feel like we are actually doing something positive.”
The Great Alaskan Bowl Company, 4630 Old Airport Way, is online at www.woodbowl.com and at @AKwoodbowl on Facebook and Instagram.
Fairbanks Fit Body Boot Camp
Owner and coach Torrey Plunk’s body boot camp is designed to for improving total body fitness, body composition, injury prevention and longevity, and like many others, they’re going online.
“We are broadcasting live on FB and Zoom to give clients at home follow-along workouts, accountability and fun,” he said. “Workouts can be done live with us or replayed when convenient for them.”
Members get in on the online site as part of their membership and only need to join the private Facebook Group, FairbanksFBBC_VIP. Non-members can sign up for 28 days for $28 at bit.ly/2UAnq1b.
Contact Features Editor Gary Black at 459-7504 or at twitter.com/FDNMfeatures.