Brooklyn’s Other Half Brewing has a new IPA as of this Tuesday, and it is arguably its artsiest ale yet: In collaboration with the Be an #ArtsHero campaign, the brewer released its new Arts Hero brew to celebrate the inauguration of President Joe Biden while simultaneously raising awareness and funds for struggling workers in the arts and culture industries.
Some 2.7 million actors, artists, dancers, choreographers, stage hands, set designers, musicians and more have been rendered unemployed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Enter Be an #ArtsHero, a volunteer-run grassroots campaign of about 60 arts workers that launched five months ago to agitate for proportionate relief to the arts sector of the economy.
“The curtain came down on everything,” says Carson Elrod, actor and Be an #ArtsHero co-founder, about the pandemic’s impact on arts and culture work. “There’s a lot of human infrastructure of the creative economy that’s been really heavily impacted, and that includes me, and that’s why I started working so hard on Be An #ArtsHero. I’ve kind of been watching the fabric of the reality of the world I live in unravel in front of my eyes.”
Elrod, a longtime fan of Other Half, developed a friendship with Other Half co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Andrew Burman. As Be an #ArtsHero took root, Elrod says Burman told him, “I know your community is suffering, and if there’s anything the Other Half can do let me know.”
“Everyone has been affected by the pandemic and by partnering with Be An #ArtsHero, we’re able to give back to the arts and culture community that has given so much to us,” Burman said in a statement. Other Half’s Arts Hero IPA will be available for $16 per 4-pack at its two Brooklyn taprooms, with an unspecified portion of the proceeds going to the non-profit.
Ultimately, the Arts Hero IPA serves as another example of how the Brooklyn community has come together to support one another over the past year. Elrod says it’s proof “of how Brooklyn supports its own, how people care about each other, [and] how people intentionally reach out to lift each other up.”
The long term goal, he says, is to create “a relationship between the federal government and the arts and culture sector that puts arts front and center all over the country, because arts institutions and organizations anchor communities.”
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