Projekt nah&fern My 5th blog article is about „nah&fern“, a project Magdalena Simmer and I founded last November. Magdalena and I know each other from the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, where she used to be my piano student. With her main profession being a mezzosoprano, we decided to keep working together when suddenly our plans were crashed due to the Corona pandemic.
We had already done quite a lot of work, and started looking for possibilities to keep our project going. With Christmas coming up we decided to start an online benefit Advent concert series. Soon we had the ground rules set: we wanted to make four concerts in a row – one each Advent weekend, always Saturday at 5pm. We mainly performed art songs in combination with our favourite Christmas carols only. We had it all planned through and were lucky enough to have Lukas as our sound engineer on the team, who took care of the technical part of our project.
In the meantime, the Austrian government published new restrictions for the next Corona lockdown and for a while it wasn't clear if we would be able to proceed. Finally we made the decision: we would go through with it and we would test ourselves before every concert. Luckily, just days before, Austria had made self-tests available for the general public. But! - those tests were only available in certain pharmacies. I remember cycling across the whole city to get our tests in the north-west end of Vienna.
The next question was: whom do we want to benefit? We did some research and, in the end, it came down to two Austrian organisations, one active in Africa in the field of development aid and one in the integration field working in Vienna. Vienna faced a major terrorist attack on November 2nd and, since we all were shaken by the consequences of the Corona pandemic, we chose the organisation here at home: AFYA, doing important and necessary work in the field of integration and migration.
You have to keep in mind that we just started „nah&fern“ two weeks before the first concert from ground zero. We decided on the project, we founded the name, we researched, decided and contacted the benefit organisation of our choice, we got technical support from Lukas, marketing support from Sarah and Jakob, mental and financial support from our families and friends, specific help with languages from Marie and Verena.
We designed, chose and rehearsed the concert program, we designed our social media profile on Facebook and Instagram and started a newsletter. Within a week – one week before the first concert – we had 45 newsletter subscribers.
After having completed „nah&fern“ successfully in December 2020 we can proudly say, that we collected a total of €1.900 for the organization AFYA, we additionally got founded privately, so that all our costs were covered. We got up to 100 newsletter subscribers and have currently 340 people following us on Facebook and 56 on Instagram and there has even been an article about our project in the NÖN.
Personally I can say, that I have been thinking about organising beneficial events for a while now and since the Corona pandemic I have been thinking a lot about online concerts and how to put them into action the best way. I just want to say, how appreciative and grateful I am for this experience that so suddenly, surprisingly and quickly came into existence and fulfilled dreams I have had for a long time.
If you want to follow us:
---> Instagram: projekt.nahundfern
---> Facebook: nah&fern
Stay tuned! We are already planning our next Advent concert series.