Lessons the COVID-19 experience has highlighted
Artists thrive on human interaction and connection. We can create in a virtual space, but we live and breathe more easily face-to-face. We feed off of and react to one another’s energy — fellow artists, audiences, listeners and viewers.
Expertise matters. Deep knowledge, scholarship and research are vitally important. I trust respected scientists on matters of science, and credentialed medical professionals on matters of health. Being good at and successful in one field doesn’t mean you understand the intricacies and nuances of another discipline. (I see this from time to time in non-profit boards. Because board members are successful in their own fields, they assume they know how you can be successful in your field.)
Artists excel at creativity, resilience and persistence. COVID-19 forced teaching artists to move out of studios, classrooms and rehearsal halls and into the virtual realm. In short order, they discovered innovative ways to teach ballet online, to hold Acting classes, to give instruction in violin, voice and marimba. Not ideal, but doable. While we’d all like to get back to the way we work best (see my first paragraph, above), I applaud my colleagues’ willingness to find meaningful ways to create and to teach.