UA Presents is excited to announce the launch of The Tucson Studio, an online resource for Southern Arizona musicians that offers technical assistance with audio and video production for live performance and a platform to showcase those performances.
The program launches with several initiatives, including a website (thetucsonstudio.com), social media channels and a concert series, featuring performances filmed live on-location at the Tucson Botanical Gardens and around Southern Arizona.
“When the pandemic hit and our events were canceled, our staff discussed options moving forward,” said Chad Herzog, executive director of UA Presents. “We all knew the impact that this shutdown would have on touring musicians. We decided that we wanted to do our part to help local performers.”
Four performers were recorded at the Botanical Gardens earlier this month
May 21 – Argentinian tango guitarist Maxi Larrea
May 28 – Tucson pop band Sweet Ghosts
June 4 – Folk duo Matt and Rebekah Rolland
June 11 – Singer-songwriter Carlos Arzate and family
Their performances will help kickoff the venture with social media-fueled watch parties held Thursdays at 6p, co-hosted by UA Presents, Botanical Gardens, and Broadway in Tucson, beginning May 21.
In addition to providing artists technical resources and performance opportunities, The Tucson Studio aims to help facilitate direct financial support for local musicians from the community.
“We are presenters at heart,” Herzog said. “The concept very rapidly evolved into a means of providing the venue and support to our own community of artists. And while performance opportunities are part of that for sure, it is also essential to recognize the financial value of artists and finding a way for them to be compensated in this time of economic uncertainty.”
With the concert series, The Tucson Studio will take donations via PayPal, Venmo, and CashApp, and will ensure the contributions go directly to the artists. Viewers will also have the opportunity to donate to the Botanical Gardens, who have also been hit hard financially by the COVID-19 closure.
“In both beauty and functionality, the Gardens are a perfect location to ensure the best footage can be achieved while still maintaining proper physical distancing,” Herzog said. “And while there are plans to continue featuring local artists in a multitude of venues around the city, this partnership felt like the best place for this journey to begin.”
The website also aims to help artists who are looking to produce their own online content with audio, video, lighting and streaming tips to improve the quality of live or produced videos on a budget.
“While the environments in which we all perform change and these worlds suddenly get physically smaller, the impact and reach we can create shouldn’t have to shrink as well,” said UA Presents Technical Director Sam Eagon.
“Through helping artists use the resources — many of them have access to — a little differently, and by guiding them through these adaptations, artists can look and sound as great from their living room as they do live,” Eagon said.
Musicians interested in getting involved with The Tucson Studio can start by sending an email to email@example.com.