The impact of COVID-19 on the arts

Barry Art Museum
Posted at 9:35 AM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-12 17:06:16-04

NORFOLK, Va. - From shuttered museums to canceled performances, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the arts, ranging from lost revenue to lost opportunities for artists.

At Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Executive Director for the Arts Cullen Strawn says they've tried to mitigate some of the losses by turning to virtual experiences.

"Art exhibitions were one thing that we could take a 360-degree camera into those gallery spaces and convert those into virtual walk-throughs. Those have been getting a lot of responses," Strawn told News 3 anchor Todd Corillo.

That approach will continue this summer with an arts events series that will allow folks already spending time in front of their screens to participate in events they may otherwise not be able to access.

"ODU artists will be featuring some of their own work and those events will garner a world-wide audience," Strawn commented.

Last month, ODU President John Broderick announced plans to reopen the university for the Fall 2020 semester. Planning for that will involve what the arts experience will look like.

"We need to consider how to reopen the physical spaces like art galleries, performance venues, theaters and recital halls in accordance with the best practices that are recommended by health officials. That will be kind of a day-by-day assessment and planning of just how exactly to handle that."

Until then, Strawn hopes people will continue to support the arts and the more than four million people employed by arts organizations across the country.

"If you can, think about giving to your arts organizations. If you’ve already purchased tickets and you’re able to donate those to the arts organizations, that’s a great way. Also purchase tickets for upcoming events. I think we all feel that we will get through this time and we’ll be able to come back together again."

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