On Instagram Live, The Lisa D Show spotlights artists during pandemic

Lisa Degliantoni created a new Instagram Live series that highlights artists a part of Evanston Made and those who support the organization. Episodes air weekdays at 6 p.m. CST.

Photo courtesy Lisa Degliantoni

Lisa Degliantoni created a new Instagram Live series that highlights artists a part of Evanston Made and those who support the organization. Episodes air weekdays at 6 p.m. CST.

Zoe Malin, Reporter

Lisa Degliantoni wears many hats. She is the founder of Evanston Made, owner of 1100 Florence art gallery and creator of a podcast, The Lisa D Show. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, Degliantoni has gained a new title: Instagram Live show host.

Through her podcast, Degliantoni created a new Instagram Live series that highlights Evanston Made artists and supporters. Degliantoni said the series’ purpose is to bring people together while they’re physically apart and to spark raw, authentic conversations about being a creator during a worldwide crisis.

“All the effort that’s going into telling artists’ stories brings them validation,” Degliantoni said. “It helps them feel like they matter, which is priceless.”

Degliantoni started The Lisa D Show about three years ago. While the podcast has always profiled Evanston artists, Degliantoni changed its focus to be specifically about Evanston Made members when the coronavirus outbreak began. She wanted to explore projects artists are working on during the pandemic while gallery openings are postponed.

After recording a few episodes titled “Art in the Time of Corona,” Degliantoni was interviewed by former 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke on his Instagram Live show. Degliantoni and O’Rourke discussed how this unprecedented time might inspire creative ideas.

“It was the most fun 30 minutes of my life,” Degliantoni said. “I couldn’t believe I wasn’t doing video for my podcast, and I knew I had to start.”

From there, Degliantoni decided to reformat her podcast into an Instagram Live series. She connected with Evanston resident Tiago Velho, who works as a technical director, to oversee technology. Liz Cramer, co-director of Evanston Made, would lead promotion. After a few short days of planning, the first Instagram Live episode premiered.

Degliantoni now has weeks’ worth of guests lined up. Interviewees discuss how they’re approaching the pandemic and their projects, and artists give virtual tours of their studios. The show airs live weekdays at 6 p.m. CST on Degliantoni’s Instagram page, @TheLisaDShow.

“The video component allows people to see each other,” Degliantoni said. “People went from seeing each other every day to not seeing each other at all. I want to connect people with their community members again.”

To expand access to her show, Velho uploads recordings to YouTube and SoundCloud after each episode airs live on Instagram. Velho is also imagining ways to add new elements, including pre-recorded and time lapse videos, in addition to still images.

“We’re building as we go,” Velho said. “I see longevity to this show and so many possibilities for content.”

Cramer said she hopes the show attracts viewers who wouldn’t normally attend a gallery opening, but who might watch an interview with an artist from their home. She said Degliantoni’s personality is “entertaining,” making it easy to introduce viewers to Evanston Made members they may not be familiar with.

“It’s literally like Lisa is sitting in your living room and having a conversation in front of you,” Cramer said. “She has the most energy and brings out everyone’s enthusiasm.”

As weeks of social distancing become months, Degliantoni said she’s grateful to be working on a project she’s excited about. Collaborating with her friends and interviewing different people five times a week doesn’t make her feel like she’s in isolation. She said she hopes viewers feel the same.

“I have an appointment every weekday with someone who’s amazing, cool, funny and smart,” Degliantoni said. “That will get me through this, and I hope audiences join us so it helps them get through this, too.”

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