Photos by Kiki Vassilakis
Albany-based artist bell’s roar wrapped up their Art Funds Art tour Sunday night, Feb. 25 at the Albany Social Justice Center. The artist has been traveling down the east coast, playing off their new album We Carry Us, since Feb. 2.
The motivation for the tour is to promote mutual artist support, Sean Desiree–the artist behind bell’s roar–told The Alt in early February,
“We all need each other in order to survive. There’s not that much support [for art] and it keeps being taken away. I just wanted to make my tour more about just coming to see me play. It’s about trying to support the community and also connect the community.”
In nine cities from Albany to Atlanta, bell’s roar performed alongside at least one queer and/or trans performer of color from the area. An additional local queer and/or trans artist of color was provided with a grant (up to $500) provided by ticket and merch sales as well contributions from area nonprofits, shops and community organizations. Awardees had applied to be considered before the Art Funds Art tour rolled through their town.
Bell’s roar hopes to continue the Art Funds Art tour in the future with grant support that would cover travel, artist compensation and grant giveaways.
“What I’m doing is what I could benefit from. There’s not much support for musicians. There is more for visual artists, like in the form of residencies or grants.”
On Sunday, bell’s roar was joined onstage by local rap duo KATANI, as well as Alisa Sikelianos-Carter–a queer, black, femme mixed-media artist. Imari Lee, the Albany grant recipient, also gave an artist talk about their paintings and illustrations that explore the experience of physical transition and gender expression.