PHOTO/ARTOWN: Images from the music video "Heartbeat to Heartbeat, Eye to Eye (From Reno with Love).”

A new music video aimed at supporting Reno-area performing artists whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the pandemic has blasted off on YouTube with nearly 15,000 views in less than three days.

“It’s inspired a great sense of pride,” said Oliver X., marketing director of Artown, which is part of the collaborative effort that went into the production of the song and video. “People have been inspired by it. There’s been great community response.”

The music/video project, “Heartbeat to Heartbeat, Eye to Eye (From Reno with Love),” is an anthem that doesn’t need a chanting arena crowd to validate its power. Its message is unity and hope, but those words aren’t in the lyrics. The song and the images evoke emotion without smearing on the schmaltz. Experience it:

“Heartbeat to Heartbeat, Eye to Eye (From Reno With Love),” a music video.

The song features 53 Reno-based artists including members of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra and the and Reno Jazz Syndicate. The video lives on Artown’s YouTube page, with donations accepted for the  From Reno with Love Artist Fund going towards $500 grants to performing artists affected by the closures and cancellations caused by the pandemic. Artists and teachers of art may apply for those grants online.

“We want to support those performing artists who are now out of work. Nobody in the performing arts culture is working because all theaters that can accommodate large gatherings for the arts are closed. There’s no exception to that. This has been a shocking development for all people who derive their principle income or sole income from the performing arts. It has devastated the arts community. In many cases they don’t qualify for grants or help of any kind.” — Oliver X. marketing director for Artown.

Local performing artists and landmarks featured

The project took about six weeks to complete, including about two weeks in post-production.

The locales will be familiar to all Reno residents. The camera spotlights artists performing at local landmarks including the Virginia Street Bridge, the Reno Arch, the BELIEVE sculpture, downtown casino towers, the Lear Theater, Pyramid Lake and the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Fire spinners make an appearance and the venerable Space Whale takes a farewell bow.

The message is hope in a time of uncertainty; love overcoming a climate of fear.

“The song in and of itself can move you to a better place, but the video brings you in and puts you onstage to sing along. It’s a light of love, hope, strength and unity. Play this song and share it with people you love.” — Max Volume, DJ on 105.7FM KOZZ Reno and a Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame inductee.

Video grew from a multi-city challenge

The project was inspired by a challenge given to Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve by Louisville, Ky., Mayor Greg Fischer, whose “Lift Up Lou” movement is designed to keep residents’ spirits up during the fight against COVID-19. The idea was to help community members maintain a sense of connectedness, even at a time of social distancing. Several other cities around the country are also participating in Louisville’s city song challenge, including: Atlanta, Ga.; Austin, Tx.; Charleston, S.C.; Chicago, Ill.; Detroit, Mich.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Oklahoma City, Okla.

Here’s a look at some of the lyrics:

Could it be that word is falling apart in front of our eyes?
Is there anywhere left we can turn for the truth?
When all any of us want is to be loved, to be seen and understood
To be part of the solution, a new evolution

Stand strong now together, we’re gonna survive
This is our moment, let’s get it right
It’s a long road out ahead of us, if we’re gonna bridge this divide
Heartbeat to heartbeat, eye to eye

Could it be that the world is just trying to course correct?
As if fighting our way out of the cocoon
It’s a call to action, to love, to change our ways for good
To embrace our birth pains, a new evolution
— the first three verses of “Heartbeat to Heartbeat, Eye to Eye (From Reno With Love)”

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