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Interview With Cloud Cafe's Co-Founder Derek Schwartz

By Stephen Grigelevich for Brain Arts Org

July 11, 2020

Cloud Cafe is an immersive virtual performance series and fundraiser for artists who have lost work during the pandemic. Each event is curated by a different artist, and uses Zoom in creative ways to replicate that feeling of watching a performance in a room full of people. Right now artists need people who care about their work to rally behind them and support them. If you want to see more Cloud Cafe performances please donate below! 100% of the proceeds will go to Cloud Cafe performers and curators.

Below is an interview with Cloud Cafe co-founder Derek Schwartz!

What is Cloud Cafe, and what do you want people to know and appreciate about Cloud Cafe?

Cloud Café is a virtual performance series, with an emphasis on interactive performances that replicates the feeling of being in a room full of people. Each performance is curated by a different artist, and the artists and curators have complete creative control to do what they will with the platform. All of our performances are streamed on Zoom and Youtube, and we ask the artists to think of these platforms as instruments to be used in creative ways. We invite artists to experiment and play with the boundaries of virtual performance.

The project was created in March to support artists who had lost work during the pandemic. 100% of the money we raise is given to the artists and curators. As the situation stretches on, we are hoping to grow to offer more sustained support to the artists we work with, and to help folks co-strategize ways of making a living from their work in this new landscape.

What is Cloud Cafe trying to give audiences with this July series?

We are hoping to offer something surprising and unpredictable! Part of the appeal of having different curators create each performance is that you could tune in three weeks in a row and have three completely different experiences.

A blessing and a curse of experiencing art in virtual space is that there are so many performances happening on any given night that it is easy to stay in your comfort zone and consume the work of the artists you already know and love. I think that’s great, but want to build a space where people can tune in without knowing exactly what to expect.

I feel beyond lucky to be working with Shey Rivera Ríos, Dzidzor, and Veronica Robles, who are curating the three July shows. All three of them are amazing artists, and are coming in with elaborate and unique visions for their events.

How can people find out more and get more involved?

You can learn about the artists, curators, and lineups on our website,

You can also follow us on Instagram: @cloudcafearts.


Check out Cloud Cafe's schedule of performances this July, as well as the rad artists and curators putting on the shows!

7/12 performance

(curator and performer) Dzidzor @dzidzorazaglo

Eli Fola @eli.fola

Poetra Asentewa @poetra_asantewa

7/19 performance

(curator) Veronica Robles @veronicaroblesmariachi

Jorge Arce

Roberto y Gloria Cepeda



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