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Supporting artists in a time of crisis: A commentary by Maurine Knighton and Kerry McCarthy

December 30, 2021

Theater_phegenbart_pixabayPerforming artists are in crisis due to COVID-19: Here’s how to help

The arts play an essential role in American society — bringing joy to audiences, provoking thought and ideas, giving voice to those who are otherwise overlooked, teaching us about cultures other than our own, creating pride in communities, and providing us with therapeutic outlets.

This last service has never been more critical than during the past twenty months, as we’ve dealt with the amplified, collective trauma connected to COVID-19, political division, and racial injustice. Throughout this tumultuous time, the arts have given us opportunities to heal and process the anxiety and stress of day-to-day life.

When we experience art, we often value the work itself. We rarely take time to think about and value the people behind the creation.

Many of us enjoy the benefits of art without considering the sweat that goes into it or acknowledging that the artists who create and deliver it are facing the same pressures and challenges that we’re experiencing during these difficult times. In fact, making a living as a performing artist during the pandemic has been impossible for most — and especially for artists who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color and for those who are immigrants or older adults, identify as women or LGBTQ+, or have disabilities....

Read the full commentary by Maurine Knighton and Kerry McCarthy, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and vice president for philanthropic initiatives at the New York Community Trust.

(Photo credit: phegenbart via pixabay)

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