Local arts group Art Sanctuary wasn’t sure if it would survive the pandemic. With COVID shutting down stages, bars and restaurants, two of Art Sanctuary’s financially sustaining mechanisms were removed in those months. However, always flexible and innovative, the group decided one way to stay connected to its audiences was through a livestreamed music series they called Late för Dinner. Now with COVID restrictions lifting and businesses opening to reclaim their patrons, Art Sanctuary is preparing for their own grand reopening on June 4 by celebrating with their first in-person, live audience presentation of “Late för Dinner” with acts like Shark Sandwich, Quiet Hollers and Broken Nails. The show will serve as a fundraiser for both Art Sanctuary and Girls Rock Louisville.
Like so many, Art Sanctuary wasn’t sure how to initially make the digital world work for them during the pandemic. So, creating the Late för Dinner series was the perfect chance to discover how using the internet could help in some way to sustain the group.
“So we started, I think it was last June or July. I’m not sure about the date. I’ll have to find out, but that was a livestream, the only event that we’ve had every Friday night during the pandemic,” said Art Sanctuary President Lisa Frye. “And, we had to learn how to livestream and all that kind of stuff.”
The series was free with the group only asking for donations.
“It’s just been a really good way to keep people familiar with local music and give an outlet for artists to play in a safe space because there were no people there,” said Frye. “They also get the livestream which is archived on our YouTube channel. Anybody can watch them at any time.”
Providing the band with an archived recording is something unique to the Late för Dinner Series and a good way for bands to have that documentation.
The group has been getting audio and camera help from some of the city’s best local talent including from their own board.
“Tim Furnish has been helping out,” said Frye. “Langan Smith. He’s one of our board members, Frankie Steele does most of all of that. He figured out how to do all the livestream stuff and they switch off.”
“Robert Major was helping some. There was another guy there that I have not met, but they have different people kind of coming in and out. Brian Gray helps out some, so it’s a menagerie of folks.”
All of these previous events were prime training for the grand reopening happening this Friday night at their event space on Shelby. For the fundraising event, Art Sanctuary is welcoming five bands, a DJ and The Limbo Food Truck. In addition to the performances and food, the art gallery will be opening again with a show by group artists and Britany Baker.
Since restrictions have been lifted on capacity, Frye is unsure how many tickets will be allowed. The current offering is 200, but they may allow a few more, since the normal capacity is 600.
Tickets for the show are only $15, and the event will be livestreamed (with an ask for donations) for those who still are uneasy about venturing into a crowd. Art Sanctuary is located at 1433 S. Shelby St.