December 1, 2021
Reopening to Arts Experiences
As winter approaches and the air becomes cooler in several regions of the country, I find myself longing for the intimacy and subdued lighting of indoor performing arts events. As an enthusiastic devotee of the arts, like many I come alive at arts events both indoors and outside. I have missed my fellow arts family, both familiar and not. Although I’ll always remain grateful for the virtual opportunities that artists and arts organizations provided during the pandemic, the void is real, and I’m thrilled to begin taking my seat at performances.
I once again look forward to transformative creativity on stage, as well as the sense of community we experience at arts events. Have you ever nodded in agreement and awe to a complete stranger when a talented vocalist transformed an entire space, taking the audience to new heights? Do you love responding to a deeply moving performance by jumping to your feet to cocreate the sound of thunderous applause when actors take their bows before the curtains close? I love all aspects of arts events, and I’m delighted to finally experience them again.
Thankfully, reopenings have begun for some arts organizations, while others are planning their next steps. As state arts agencies continue to assist the arts community with reopening strategies and funding, please keep these helpful resources in mind:
- The Arts Organizations at a Crossroads Toolkit The National Coalition for Arts’ Preparedness and Emergency Response (NCAPER) designed this resource to help arts organizations facing significant challenges to be able to manage transitions and preserve assets.
- An Arts Field Guide to Federal Disaster Relief Produced by NCAPER, the field guide helps to demystify federal relief opportunities for the arts and culture sector after disasters. For a number of regions, the tragedies brought on by the pandemic were exacerbated by various natural disasters. Especially when managing multiple crises, navigating federal disaster relief resources for presidentially declared emergencies can be daunting, and this guide is available to help arts stakeholders understand the resources that are available (and those that aren’t). It’s a time saver when considering seeking federal resources. In addition to the guide being available online, NCAPER shared complimentary bound editions with all state arts agencies.
- The Art of Reopening: A Guide to Current Practices Among Arts Organizations During COVID-19 Fueled by surveys and relevant case studies, this research report by the National Endowment for the Arts illuminates promising strategies for arts reopenings.
- COVID-19 Resources for State Arts Agencies NASAA’s curated list of COVID-19 resources for state arts agencies includes a section on reopenings: it contains arts reopening guidance published by 10 states, as well as creative industry and arts education reopening direction.
As many of us embrace the cooler months ahead, let us continue to support arts events in our work and in our lives, whether they’re inside recently reopened venues or outdoors where we can bundle up (hopefully near heat lamps), in the inspiring company of artists, friends and family.
I wish you a festive, art-filled holiday season and new year!
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