• Jeanne Marie

Sara and Sumaya: The Powerhouse Couple Helping Artists, not only Survive COVID-19, but Thrive

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

Taken and featuring: Sumaya Mulla-Carrillo & Sara Falaro

“Take breaks, change course, identify pain, heal heal heal,” says Falaro, about a mentors’ advice.

As the Coronavirus continues to sweep the nation, a New York City couple stands at the forefront of change, supplying endless inspiration for their clients and arts communities to adapt their practices and continue creating in order to thrive.    

Sara Falaro (27) and Sumaya Mulla-Carrillo (24) are working artists who own their own businesses out of their New York City apartment. Falaro, an actress, runs her branding business that specializes in helping artists find their authentic, marketable voice. Mulla-Carrillo, a dancer, heads her company created to assist artists in gaining financial literacy as freelancers. 

As the pair continue to practice their art forms, they have found creative ways to support their clientele in navigating this tumultuous time. The Coronavirus has shifted the makeup of public interaction and, inevitably, has changed the arts experience along with it. While successfully assisting their patrons, the couple paves the way for artists to continue to be successful in a time when the importance of the arts has felt forgotten.

Support, transparency, and authenticity are the principles at the core of both women’s personalities and, thus, the heart of their businesses. ‘I just had to lean more into the community element of my business, and ensure that my clients and audience feel legit seen by me.’ said Falaro when asked how COVID-19 has shifted her business experience. Persevering with their visibility, Sara and Sumaya continue to engage using even more radical vulnerability. ‘My clients know I am SUPER engaged in the day-to-day of supporting them.’ Says Falaro. ‘With my clients, a lot of them have never had the space to talk freely about money before and just providing that space for them to work through the guilt, fear, and hopes around money is super transformational.’ Mulla-Carrillo adds. This intimate focus combined with their community-based spirits gives the couple a wisdom about the arts sector and a strategy the community can use while grappling with adapting: the flexibility of creativity.   

Accepting and exploring change rather than shrinking away from it Falaro and Mulla-Carrillo spread the importance of mutability in creativity. ’Creativity is so fluid’ says Falaro ‘and it hasn’t disappeared by any means- just moved’. Faced with a lack of funding, a public indifference, and rare access to the usual public spaces, individuals, companies, and communities have been searching for ways to continue their artistry without being roadblocked by this trinity of challenges.

Looking beyond this dreary view, Sumaya and Sara have expanded their ideas beyond the usual or traditional. ‘There’s no wrong way to be creative’ says Mulla-Carrillo. At the forefront of change, the couple harnesses their innate ingenuity shared by artistic communities at large to discover the new spaces or ideas needed for the arts to flourish. Shifting creativity, leaning into vulnerability, and sparking a flicker of strategic optimism, Sara and Sumaya exemplify how the arts can find new, innovative ways to stay connected to the public and potentially prosper with a new audience accessibility.

Taken and featuring: Sumaya Mulla-Carrillo & Sara Falaro

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