Navigating the Future of Arts Recovery

Photo credit: website-umn.edu

After months of navigating the uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is one thing we know for sure: The way arts and cultural organizations will navigate in the future has totally changed!

When and how these changes will manifest is still to be determined. But I am encouraged by the online discussions that are taking place to promote thinking about and planning for what this future will look like. I’m appreciative that a colleague sent me this link to the WNET ALL*ARTS Talk  webinar asking the critical question, “How Do We Move Towards Recovery in the Arts?” and I wanted to share it with the readers of Arts & Culture Connections.

The program was moderated by Karen Brooks Hopkins, ALL*ARTS advisory board member and the former president of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The panelists, who participated virtually, were: Anne Pasternak, director of Brooklyn Museum; James King, managing director of Harlem Stage; Diane Paulus, artistic director of American Repertory Theater at Harvard University; Dale Franzen, lead producer of “Hadestown,” and Adrian Ellis, director of AEA Consulting and chair of the Global Cultural Districts Network.

The panelists discussed various sectors of the arts and cultural community, including Broadway and Harlem. It was a smart and creative discussion with these industry leaders exploring what “arts recovery” programs could look like. I was excited by the diversity of the panel of thinkers, strategists, and their sharing of hope.

I also was reminded of how important it is for artists, artmakers and arts administrators to refresh the memories of our policymakers about the vital role that the arts play in society and the urgent need for recovery funding for our arts and cultural institutions. For example, even though museums are being perceived as the first of the arts institutions to reopen, they still will face many unknowns that must be addressed before reopening their doors.

I have often written about the importance of collaborations and partnerships and this webinar demonstrated how bringing together creative minds can light the way towards the future. I believe the pandemic offers cultural organizations the opportunity to unite like never before and to develop a new North Star. See for yourself—check out the webinar—and let’s continue to educate ourselves and dialogue about how we will pioneer the recovery of the arts in the post-COVID-19 world.

As always, I would like to know what you think. Please share your comments below. Stay safe!

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