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Supporting The Arts During The Coronavirus Crisis

Jacksonville Symphony
The Jacksonville Symphony's Performance Space at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts

One segment of the economy that’s been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis is the arts.


Joy Young, CEO of theCultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, appeared on Tuesday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross. 


“In our best times, we're adding over $85 million to our economy, employing more than 2,000 people - really adding vibrancy to our lives here in Jacksonville. But because our doors are closed and because we are practicing social distancing, we are lacking in ticket revenue; we’re lacking in concession sales; we’re lacking in tuition. We are lacking in so many areas, and we need our public to stay involved and stay engaged.” 


Young added that individuals can continue to support their favorite artists and cultural institutions while practicing social distancing, and cited a few examples of how to do so virtually.


She started with the Council’s new public Facebook group, #ARTconnectsJAX, noting that its purpose is to support new work, and to encourage, educate and entertain and to bring hope and healing at a time when we need it most.


Ross noted that WJCT's Jax Arts Facebook group, a virtual gathering place for the arts and cultural community of Northeast Florida, also complements the Council's group.


Some of the other examples Young shared included:



  • MOCA Jacksonville is working on virtual resources, including ones for children, such as daily art activities for children, classes for adults, artist spotlights, Q&As, exhibition highlights, video and more for people to enjoy.  


  • The Beaches Museum will be posting pictures from its archives along with pre-recorded Boardwalk Talks, current art and more soon. 


  • The Arts Center Cooperative plans to showcase each of its members who are visual artists. These showcases will be on their website and Facebook page every day, and will include contact info and links to the artists’ websites and social media. 


  • Hope at Hand provides poetry for at-risk youth in North Florida, and is working on an online platform.

Individuals can visit the Council’s new website and click on give/donate to lend your financial contributions to the arts in Jacksonville. 

Heather Schatz can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @heatherschatz.

Heather is the senior producer of WJCT 89.9 FM talk shows including First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, the Florida Roundup and What's Health Got to Do with It?
Peter was an intern with WJCT during the 2020 spring semester from the University of North Florida, where he is majoring in communications.