As COVID-19 cases keep emerging nationwide, the loss of jobs continues. With word of a vaccine to be distributed in the near future, gyms could open, students will return to school, restaurants will resume dining services, yet for the arts it’s undecided. Artists are going to have to work incredibly hard to get back to normal as they were undeniably one of the professions that were hit the hardest.
The way that the arts and culture industry is structured leaves those working in the profession extremely vulnerable during an unforeseeable pandemic like this one. 2020 was the year of reflection and loss, yet for many artists, 2021 will be the year to bounce back strong, and with full force. Many institutions already have concrete plans to reopen, such as Broadway theatres in Winter of 2021 (TBD) and many music venues. Many large concerts and art festivals were postponed this year such as Superfine of Los Angeles, but they have already planned to revive their event in February of 2021.
One thing is for sure; artists are surviving by returning to the basics of creation in this pandemic. Many studies showed that the lack of deadlines helped artists recharge, and embark on projects they have always wanted to start. Many theatre companies took the initiative by staging full-length plays virtually through Zoom, dance classes were held online and musical training still carried on; as we say in the biz, the show must go on. It is well known that this isn’t the first time this happened of course; during the black plague, William Shakespeare took advantage of the Globe’s lengthy closure to write King Lear, among many other of his famous work.
Next time you open Netflix or listen to Apple Music, take a second to think about the artist behind the screen, and make sure you continue to support them post-COVID as they get their feet back on the ground. The arts are not going away; they are the glue and joy of our society and will surely surprise this when this pandemic blows over.
By: Samara O’Gorman
Samara O’Gorman is a Montréal based actress, writer and founder of kindness initiative, ‘Your Local Samaritan’. She’s currently studying Irish Studies at Concordia University and is a journalist at Youth In Politics where her articles focus on arts & culture.