Deep Ellum Venue Bringing Live Shows, Art to Online Audience

Deep Ellum Art Company is one of many businesses trying to innovate online

NBCUniversal, Inc.

With concerts halted as North Texas tries to flatten the curve, venues are figuring out to keep the music flowing.

John LaRue, who co-owns Deep Ellum Art Company with his wife, Kari, is one of many business owners looking for new ways to continue sharing what they do with an audience live music and art with an online audience.

"The last couple weeks have been pretty rough. We watched our entire calendar vanish for April," LaRue said. "It's been kind of hard to see all the hard work that we've done to build something undone in a matter of hours, really."

For a few days, LaRue was putting on "Quaran-Stream's" at the Dallas venue, like one in March with local band TryMore MOJO.

They may have played to a nearly empty room, but 5,200 people tuned on to watch the stream on Facebook.

Now, with shows and the Quaran-Streams both on hold, LaRue is working on sharing live-streams of concerts from bands wherever they are sheltering in place.

"We're trying to put together stuff that's not just relevant for now — that helps us in the interim when we're not allowed to have customers — but will carry on into the future and be beneficial to us after we're allowed to have people into our space," he said. "... We want to put as much of us out there and available to people as possible so they can kind of get their fix without having to risk coming out to see us, especially since we're closed."

His team also wants to create a virtual and interactive tour of the venue, which also functions as an art gallery (with a new online gallery coming soon).

Art Company artistic director and printmaker Amber Crimmings may also be holding streams to show people how to make prints with materials they already have at home, LaRue said.

When people think about what they want to see on the other side of the pandemic, "music, art and culture are at the top of everyone's list," LaRue said.

With that in mind, he encouraged everyone to continue to find ways to support local artists, musicians and industries while acting responsibly.

"We need people to do what they need to do so we can get back to doing what we want to do," LaRue said.

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