We Are New York: In Conversation with Sarah Bassett
We are New York is an interview series created to connect and exchange ideas with local vanguards, in turn serving as a source of information, inspiration, and furthermore, an archive of a critical moment in time.
NAME: Sarah Bassett
OCCUPATION: Creative Director
Creative director, global design director for Adidas Originals, burgeoning wine connoisseur, and true-blue New York local—Sarah Bassett is all these things and more. In the 11 years (and counting) since she arrived in New York from Australia, Sarah has lent her sharp eye and artistic dexterity to a multitude of creative projects with her most recent efforts directed towards an initiative close to her heart. Launched in late April, the KEEPGOING campaign helps support, in Sarah’s words, “the people who showed you how to see the world differently.” She is talking about the people in the film and television industry, the entertainment community many of whom have been severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
From her home base in Williamsburg, Sarah talks about the campaign, her newfound domesticity, the podcasts and shows she’s loving, and shares some words to live by.
What creative projects or special initiatives have you immersed yourself in in the midst of the current public health crisis?
SB: During this time, I worked with my friends who run a wonderful production company, Reframe the World, to launch an initiative called KEEPGOING. It is a project created by filmmakers, for filmmakers. We have created a virtual gallery to showcase and sell prints from directors and cinematographers around the world to support below-the-line industry crew members, out of work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
For every print sold, we donate 100 percent of the proceeds to the Motion Picture & Television Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund. Covid-19 has stopped production across the entire globe. This has put an industry made of millions of freelance crew members out of work with no sick leave, PTO, or option to remain financially stable. This project is aimed at supporting those crew members through these trying times.
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During this time, do you have any new rituals that you’ve found to be grounding or inspiring?
Sarah Bassett: I have learned to cook! Who knew?! I’ve lived in New York for 11 years and never had time to learn to look after myself. It has been nice to recalibrate and spend some time doing “normal things.”
What albums or songs are on heavy rotation right now?
SB: NTS Radio remote DJ sets.
What films or shows have you watched recently that left an impression?
SB: Unorthodox. Insane that this story happened blocks from my apartment! Puts things in perspective.
Can you name a few neighborhood spots or local haunts you miss most right now?
SB: Sauced. We started a virtual wine club during this time and everyone can’t wait to get together and drink the same bottle of wine again.
Where have you been going to get your art fix now that many galleries, museums, and theaters have taken exhibitions and shows into the digital sphere?
SB: Instagram has become the best platform to experience new versions of creativity. People are experimenting with the way they use, create, and share their work. It’s been so interesting to watch.
Name a couple of places you’ve been supporting through takeout and delivery
SB: Fresh Kills’ to-go cocktails.
Who or what have you recently discovered and started following?
SB: Late to the party here, but finally started listening to The Daily. It’s been an amazing source of daily information—not too much, but just enough.
If you could have one night out in NYC, where would you go and with who?
SB: I’d love to go for a huge meal out with all my friends—maybe at one of the many amazing restaurants that may have to close forever after this period. And then go get insanely drunk and dance outside with friends and complete strangers. I miss humans.
Share a mantra, quote, or phrase that you’re living by right now?
SB: Stay sane, stay safe.
WORDS Edwina Hagon
PHOTOGRAPHY Sarah Bassett