One segment of the economy that’s been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis is the arts.
“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:
- The Florida Theatre has been putting song lyrics on it’s marquee, which you can view on the theatre's social media channels.
- The Jacksonville Historical Society is sharing reading recommendations about the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918, such as The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, by John M. Barry (Penguin Books, 2005).
- The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra is broadcasting performances of it’s smaller ensembles on its Facebook page or YouTube Channel and also sharing some of its greatest performances on its website.
- The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus is offering a stream for listening to local children performing their favorite pieces.
- 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.