In this period of social distancing, it’s easy to forget the arts only thrive when audiences are around to appreciate them.
That’s why nine Nashville arts organizations, led by the Franklin-based Studio Tenn, are coming together to release a statement of unity, calling for continued support during this unprecedented hiatus.
“In these difficult and unprecedented times, our world is changing every day, often every hour, as we work together as a community to defeat the coronavirus (COVID-19),” the statement begins. “We believe that the arts are a necessary part of life but especially in times like these when we turn to the arts to sustain us, entertain us and help us make sense of the moment we find ourselves in.”
Co-signers of the statement include OZ Arts Nashville, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Children’s Theatre, Nashville Opera, Nashville Repertory Theatre, The Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nashville Symphony, Studio Tenn Theatre Company and Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
The measures to limit social gatherings “do not merely detract from providing the community with high-quality education, entertainment and exposure to the arts,” the statement continues, “they also have a devastating economic impact for the organizations’ artists, performers, stage crews, designers, directors and administrative staff.”
The group outlines three ways you can currently support the local arts community:
All of the organizations endorsing this appeal rely on the support of both patrons and donors to further their mission to serve the community through the arts. If you purchased a ticket to a show that has been postponed or canceled because of COVID-19, please consider donating the price of your ticket back to the performing arts organization. If you would like to support the organization directly, one-time or recurring donations are both welcome contributions and excellent ways to help. These organizations are all 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, and all donations made to support them are tax-exempt charitable contributions. You can find out more information about how to support these companies through their individual websites.
You can support TPAC by making a donation here.
2. Reach out to government leaders
As ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic continue to play out, immediate and bold action will be required by all communities to provide relief for affected individuals, companies, and industries. Our rich cultural history and thriving arts scene are critical components of what make Nashville and its surrounding communities so desirable for people from across this country who are looking to start a new business or find a new community to call home. As local, state, and federal leaders create legislative relief resources, we ask that you serve as an advocate for the support of local fine arts organizations alongside other impacted arts and entertainment workers, venues, and companies.
Arts Action Fund: https://www.artsactionfund.org/
Tennesseans for the Arts: https://www.tn4arts.org/
Metro Arts: https://www.metroartsnashville.com/
3. Connect online
Although in-person gatherings have been limited, the arts community is still creating engaging content and inspiring audiences online. In a time when we can’t be together physically, we are endeavoring to connect from a distance. Please like, follow, and subscribe to local performing arts organizations on social media and engage directly with the creative ways they are connecting with fans during this unique season. By interacting, commenting, liking, and sharing content, you are introducing more people to the valuable contributions that arts organizations add to our community.
“We are a strong community and part of our strength is our innate desire to support one another and come together in times of crisis. Together, we will foster a spirit of strength and resilience.”
In working with Metro Arts, the hope is to be able to expand this statement even further and include even more local arts institutions. Please contact Matt Parker with Studio Tenn if you wish to include your organization in this unified group.
“We ask that you give to, advocate for, and engage with your local arts organizations,” the statement concludes, “so that at the end of this unexpected intermission, we can move forward into a strong and bright future together.”