The Essential Arts
The summer of 2020 will be memorable not only for what is happening, but also for what isn’t happening. Edmonton’s summers are known for festivals of music, art, and theatre. This year, because of COVID-19, there are no festivals. There are also no concerts, and most of the cultural organizations in the city have suspended their programming.
However, this has not stopped creativity from bursting out all over the city. Musicians are playing porch and street concerts, where people can enjoy the music while maintaining physical distancing. Sidewalks are coming alive with chalk art. Thanks to modern technology, performances of music and theatre are streaming online.
The pandemic is also helping some discover their creativity. People of all ages have been taking up playing instruments. They are painting, sewing, taking photographs, and doing a multitude of other artistic activities. Some of us have also been reading more, while revisiting our favourite music albums and movies.
All frontline workers deserve our gratitude for their roles in keeping us safe and healthy. The arts are also essential to helping many survive this pandemic with our mental and spiritual well-being intact. Be sure to thank the artists who have touched your lives by patronizing their work, and by opposing government cuts to the arts. If anyone speaks in a way that diminishes the arts, remind them of the music, books, or films that got them through this summer.