Love the arts? Want to do something to help?
New Westminster’s arts community, as with arts communities across the country, is facing unprecedented challenges in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you’re an arts lover sitting at home wondering how to help, here are a few ideas:
MAKE A DONATION
This one’s an obvious one: For those who are financially positioned to do so, a donation to the arts group of your choice will be more welcome than ever.
KEEP THOSE TICKETS
If you have tickets to a performance that’s been cancelled, why not hang onto them? Rather than seeking your money back, you can check with the organization to ensure you can keep the tickets and use them for any future scheduled performances. Or, simply turn the cost of the tickets into a donation to the organization.
BUY GIFT CERTIFICATES AND SUBSCRIPTIONS
Although theatres have gone dark, it doesn’t mean you can’t buy tickets – for yourself, or as a gift. Many organizations (especially larger groups such as Arts Club Theatre Company and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra) offer subscription packages. You can buy now, and whenever shows are up and running again, you can enjoy the show.
SHARE THE LOVE
Many arts groups and artists are still active on social media. Follow them, and interact with their posts. Amplify their voices by sharing their posts to your audiences on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Start discussions about theatre, about art, about music, about literature – keep favourite memories alive and share plans for the future.
Love music? Search out a local performer’s YouTube channel and watch their videos. Listen on Spotify. Better yet, buy an album. Musicians will keep on making music – you can play your part as an audience member by encouraging them to do it. Then follow your favourites on social media and, as above, share the love.
Love visual arts? You don’t have to go to a gallery to find art. Search out artists online – and, if you can, buy a work of art. You can make connections to artists through local websites such as 100braidststudios.com and www.vandopgallery.com.
TAKE PART IN FUNDRAISERS
It’s early days yet, but as artists and arts groups organize to start fundraisers, it’s a great way to support the arts and enjoy some entertainment in the comfort of your own home. For instance, local musical theatre performers are taking part in Do You Hear the People Sing? A Quarantine Cabaret to raise money for the Arts Club Theatre Company. See more here.
We’ll continue to follow local fundraisers and will bring you details as we learn about them.
PLAY YOUR PART
Help bring this whole COVID-19 pandemic to an end earlier rather than later by playing your part and observing all the now-familiar directives. Stay home. Go out for essentials only. When you must go out, be sure to preserve social distance by leaving at least two metres of space between you and other people. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face. If you have any symptoms, stay home.
The sooner we can help to “bend the curve,” the sooner we’ll all be back to enjoying our local arts scene again.
If you’re an artist or arts group that’s organizing a fundraiser, or if you have other news to share, let us know. Email Julie, firstname.lastname@example.org.