During this tumultuous year, the world is more in need of joy and music than ever. So Lady Cactus Media, a community-funded media collective, and Quiet Moon, an events collective, have launched the Equinox Sessions. The video series, showcasing backyard performances by three Black musicians, celebrates the transition from summer into fall.
"Early on in the pandemic, my heart just exploded for everyone," Quiet Moon founder Amanda Gonulsen says. "I was giving weekly donations wherever I could, but then when all this social justice stuff came up, I thought it shouldn’t just be money." She wanted to create a sense of community and support artists.
For the video series, each artist will be paid, and Gonulsen will match their rate with a donation to a cause they care about. Musician Nina de Freitas, whose video comes out September 22, decided to give to the National Bail Out Collective; R&B songwriter Kid Astronaut, whose video will be released September 29, chose Denver Food Rescue; and experimental pop singer Kayla Marque, whose video drops October 6, picked the Black Actors Guild.
Quiet Moon and Lady Cactus Media's creative director, Kenzi Everitt, started booking backyard shows together five years ago. Those intimate live concerts included performances from four to six artists and craft cocktails mixed for the evening.
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For this particular video series, Gonulsen "felt called to do something where she could take her money and amplify Black artists in Colorado," Everitt says. In addition to being paid, each artist received a basket full of goodies for performing at the sessions, including beer from Lady Justice Brewery, an all-women owned brewery in Denver, Potager and Wildmoon Macaron.
For Gonulsen, the Equinox Sessions is all about bringing people together, virtually, in a time when people feel so isolated.
The fall equinox itself falls on Tuesday, September 22, the day the videos will begin to be released.
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"With Quiet Moon, [concerts have] always kind of fallen on specific moon events," Everitt says. "With this one, we chose to start releasing videos on the fall equinox. We went with the shifting energy theme."
Gonulsen hosts Quiet Moon around celestial events because of the coziness and warmth that it brings.
"It's all about sharing love," says Gonulsen, "and sharing love to people you don't know."