Cover Photo: Jayson Kayne performs live every night on Martin City Brewing Company’s Facebook page. Viewers can tip the musician via Venmo or Paypal. 

Area communities stay connected through live streaming

By Tyler Schneider

Society as we know it has more or less been put on an indefinite hiatus in the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak. The human need for a sense of community involvement, however, is perhaps as crucial as it has ever been. Many are connecting with the use of live stream videos.

Entertainers

The impact of social distancing has particularly impacted the livelihoods of entertainers and musicians. Martin City Brewery has reportedly drawn 11,000 views to its live-streamed performances on Facebook by local favorite Jayson Kayne, who was already scheduled to play live sets at the brewery prior to the pandemic shutdown. 

(Kayne) has been live streaming on our Facebook profile every night since we started starting at 6 p.m. every night,” Martin City Brewery owner Matt Moore said. “We are doing everything we can do to survive. I didn’t build this company and employ this legion to hit the road when times get tough. We are pivoting and exploring all turns.” 

Viewers can tip Kayne via a Paypal or Venmo site posted on the video. 

Integrity Martial arts
Integrity Martial Arts instructor David Muhammad demonstrates a down block back stand with his students on Zoom. Photo Integrity Martial Arts Academy Facebook

Class Zoom

“It’s a unique time. People are looking for something to do, being cooped up all day long,” David Muhammad, an instructor at Integrity Martial Arts Academy said. “The longer this goes, the more people are going to be looking for something that feels normal.”

Muhammad and the Integrity team have been doing their part to provide that sense of normalcy to students by holding video training sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday via Zoom. 

Of 115 or so total students that actively train with the academy, Muhammad says that he will get about 75-80 viewers on average for one of his video training sessions available on the academy’s  Facebook page

“Hopefully, we don’t have to do it a whole lot longer, but it does help maintain that sense of community in the meantime,” Muhammad said. “We’re going to continue to be creative in order to provide what is, for many, a social and emotional outlet as well.”

While in person instruction is undoubtedly more desirable than working out alone in your living room, instructors like Blue Bicycle owner Jan Schmidt have also found some positives. 

“Our video sessions have gone surprisingly well. There are even people outside of our membership base who are seeing these,” Schmidt said. “I did a chair yoga class that reached 751 people (online), which is higher than the amount of likes we have on our Facebook page.”

“We are trying to maintain a connection, because we really do have a strong community feel here,” says Schmidt.

David McDaniel
David McDaniel, pastor at Holmeswood Baptist Church, live streams Sunday morning services.  The Facebook videos have had as many as 800 views. 

Church Services

For area religious leaders like Rev. David McDaniel, pastor of Holmeswood Baptist Church, live streaming services has worked out well.  

“We went from 10 percent watching the stream on a weekly basis to 100 percent watching online (after the outbreak),” McDaniel said.  

The church has shortened sermons from about an hour in length to around 35 minutes digitally. The videos, which appear on Facebook Live, have already attracted upwards of 800 views.
“What we like to say here at Holmeswood is, ‘Church is not cancelled, it’s just gonna look different’,” McDaniel explained. “We are very excited for the number of people who have been tuned-in and engaged so far.”

“One of the lessons we are also learning is, as wonderful as all of this technology is – and as useful as it is now – we crave social and physical interaction with people,” McDaniel said. 

In embracing that reality, McDaniel believes that there are also some positives that humanity could – or should – learn from the coronavirus outbreak.

“If we are the same people after the experience of COVID-19 than when it began, then we’ve missed some lessons along the way,” McDaniel said.