Submitted Date 08/13/2019

Award season is upon us. Every year it seems like an artist isn't recognized or acknowledged. A movie masterpiece isn't nominated or simply has lost because of one production sweeps all the awards. People feel aggravated, threaten to boycott the Oscars, or tune out the Grammy's. Have we all lost touch with "good music" or "good film" or has the panel of people that get to vote? These popular award shows don't have to dictate what is worthy of our attention. There are dozens of ways to speak up for the artists who are creating revolutionary work. If you have suffered from secondhand snub syndrome here are some tricks.

Tune in— somewhere else

There are a number of other places that hand out awards to deserving candidates for their art. The ceremonies aren't very publicized but are available if you know where to look. The popular award shows have been in demand for a long time, and that appears to be changing. The growing distaste among consumers and fans will allow those changes to happen. Don't get mad at the Grammy's for ignoring innovative musicians, find the places that are recognizing talent and support those organizations. Tune in to the Independent Music Awards, or the Music Of Black Origin Awards, where artists are being honored for doing something different, and saying something else.

The IMA'S has grown significantly in presence since they began less than 20 years ago. This group focuses on independent creators. The website allows creators to submit work, fans to view nominations or vote. A platform for an artist to grow.

The MOBO Awards started in the 90s and have been celebrating artists of British and International talent. Their website is filled with clips, interviews, artist biographies, and entertainment news.

Film lovers have tons of platforms to use if the Oscars are off next year. The Writer's Guild or the Director's Guild are both places to keep up on movies that aren't included in the Marvel Universe. The Award ceremony was webcast from the LA Times website in February.
The Director's Guild awards have its own platform and show, along with a podcast. "The Director's Cut" discusses behind the scenes details, exclusive interviews and deep conversation.

Another available space to relish in all things film is the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Fans can tune in with their T.V on the IFC channel or go to IFC's website and watch online. The Film Independent site is perfect for reading movie news or joining the community. They have tiers starting as low as $95/a year. This platform connects independent filmmakers to educational resources, networking opportunities, as well as the right to vote on the panel. This is the place to kick the frustration that's been lingering in your system since February.



Straight to the Source

There is tons of music out there on the internet, or on downtown city streets. There are millions of stories that haven't been told or recycled. The popular award shows we all love to hate are just a product of the mainstream. Getting upset that your favorite artist didn't even get a nomination does nothing. If we really want new content and better award shows, we need to promote our creators and buy as directly as possible. Streaming services are great however, artists aren't being paid what you think for those clicks. Digital music stores are a step above but honestly, sit at a devastating pay rate. The most obvious place to buy physical content is at an actual store. Physical content is better for the creator. Paying money to hold something in your hands and claim it as property is much more rewarding for the individual that put in the time to create. Go to their social media account and find a link to their products.

The same goes for the film buffs. Refrain from illegally streaming, downloading movies or television. Support the creation of the art you love by paying for it. A physical movie is better than the digital download. The people who put in the hard work will accomplish what they set out to do, which is to make more content.




In the age of social media, no one is off the grid, especially if you're an artist trying to get noticed. Find favorites. Follow them on every platform, and interact with them. Artists are people too, they want to know you and they want you to like them. Engage with them, by liking, sharing, reposting or a friendly DM. Interacting with the posts boosts their content allowing them to reach more people. When new content pops up that's moving, do some research and explore related works. People can be in more than one band, or create more than one thing, seek out those gems, dust them off and try them out. Movies most of the time require teams of people, in all kinds of areas, and backgrounds. Follow actors, or actresses, directors, costume designers and writers. The chance that this piece is their first-ever-piece is unlikely, discover what else they have and review it.


Be "Stream-wise"

Not all streaming services are created equal, and if you're going to stream— at least be respectful. The top 3 streaming services that pay the artist the most for their plays are Apple, Tidal, and surprisingly Napster. Napster being the top service paying the most back to the artist for plays. While the company is losing money, in the end, an artist only needs a track to play 77,475 times to reach a monthly wage of $1,472. YIKES

Apple came in third, paying their artists $ 0.00735 per play. This works out to an artist's song playing 200,272 times to earn a monthly wage. Apple is one of the most recognized platforms for digital music. This is important information to have when considering the artist. Many platforms set trends. The popular artists stay popular because that is what is fed to us. There are so many voices that remain unheard because they don't have the microphone plugged in.


Attend the Shows

It's a common misconception that concerts are expensive or viewing parties aren't worth the money. Being broke is a thing, don't starve from going to a concert but also know that there are plenty of shows that can cost under $20 a ticket. Purchase an experience. A place where a group of people have joined together to witness a spectacle. A community of fans that came to see the show, and support someone. A ticket purchased, is a chance to see the artist you may have only seen on a screen. It's also a chance for the artist to see a fan they've only imagined was there.

As scary as it sounds get involved in your community. A local college or venue will have events listed, many free, or fairly affordable screenings all types of film. Feeling feisty? Do it yourself! A movie you love could make someone else fall in love too, create an event, partner with a venue in your city, and see what happens. Earlier last year the film "Eighth Grade" was screened for free in Seattle, before it hit theaters. These events are all over the place, and once you know where to look it's simple.


Tune out the Noise

Ads can be nasty and relentless. Remain vigilant and tune them out. Being reluctant as to where your money is spent, or where time is wasted can save sanity. Not every show on television is the best, and certainly, there is not enough time in the day to watch all of it.

The top 40 can be great but is best described as the fat that's been skimmed from the surface. There is a deep expanse of music and movies that no one talks about because no one knows. Ignore the ads and listen to trusted sources. The artists, they are fans of art as well. Check out the playlists section of the preferred streaming service, and discover new music. There are apps free to download and use wherever we are when we need our fix. 8tracks is a website and an application available to use that offers user-curated playlists that fit any mood, activity, or genre. This is a community-based platform where playlists are created and shared, music that hasn't been heard in years, or brand new sounds that inspire.

Popular movies aren't bad, but it's no secret that cinematic universes and reboots have taken over. Last year "A Quiet Place" debuted and stunned audiences while it sucked all the noise out of the theater. It was the highest-ranked original story that wasn't a part of a sequel, or franchise or remake. The movie holds the 16th spot. Every movie above that title came from another. The movies above were successful, and transportive however they are also the movies the masses have come to expect. The ads are blasted in every place on every screen, and they can afford all the exposure it costs. This leaves little room for those up and coming artists trying to make their mark.



Art Festivals are fantastic for experiencing new things in an immersive environment. While these experiences can be pricey, they are perfect for people that want a little more fun in their weekend. Music festivals like Coachella, and Kaboo, Lollapalooza, Jazz Fest, they all span across the country and throughout the year. Whenever there's time for a vacation there's a festival waiting. The line-ups feature the biggest stars and the lesser-known artists too. A good way to see a new artist could be while you're waiting for Ariana Grande to start. The less familiar bands aren't fresh from the garage, they've gotten to a festival, the directors aren't going to let just anyone jump on that stage.

Film Festivals aren't just for the people involved in the process. There are dozens of film festivals that are available for regular old joes' who love movies. The festivals can range from a weekend's length to more than a week, with movies, workshops, and tons of other activities. Tickets are available through membership or through a ticket distributor. The American Film Institute Festival (AFI) even has free tickets available. Memberships can lead to other perks like voting privileges or passes to other events throughout the year.
It's easy to influence change when the tools are supplied.



Giving back to a community can make a true difference. Whether it's an individual artist that is struggling or a whole group of people who can benefit from a little more push. Donations don't have to break the bank, any amount adds up to the bigger picture. Find a deserving charity and volunteer, donate time or money.


Buy Merch

Fans love showing off their affections, and just like it matters where music is purchased, it definitely matters where other collectible items are bought. Beanies, pins, patches, tee-shirts, jackets, CDs or records if purchased directly from the artist will benefit them the most. Certain places have merchandise for popular artists, or even online stores will create merchandise for purchase but those profits aren't going directly to the artist. Support big names, and the smaller ones by purchasing from them. The gross income reported from merchandise sales was $3.1 billion in 2016. Proving that buying those tee-shirts provide a huge profit for artists.

Search an artist's name or band and likely there's a spot to shop. The profits directly support the creator, while the consumer advertises their name. Ultimately the artist needs exposure and by sporting their brand and purchasing their product fans are pushing the art further.



Be A Megaphone

The great thing about social media is that it's a way for artists to connect with their following. The second great thing about social media is that fans can connect with their own following. Get active on your personal crusade to shout about the interests that fuel your passions. Talk about artists no one knows about and set the trends. Personal tastes can influence other people's tastes too. Talking about artists that influence or inspire, will make other followers take notice. A passionate fan makes others curious.



title photo credit: Markus Spiske temporausch.com from Pexels











[10] http://garfieldptsa.org/free-advanced-screening-of-eighth-grade-film-thursday-july-19

[11] .https://8tracks.com/

[12] https://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?p=.htm&yr=2018

[13] https://seatgeek.com/tba/festivals/music-festivals/

[14] https://www.afi.com/afifest/freetickets.aspx

[15] https://www.americansforthearts.org/about-americans-for-the-arts

[16] https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/56nG2R2ps7YJCDyG76Wjbvf/more-than-merch-why-band-t-shirts-are-so-important

[17] https://diymusician.cdbaby.com/musician-tips/10-ways-support-artists-broke/


Ashley Aker


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