Giving to the arts, now more than ever

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I wrote an article for PrimeTime magazine 15 years ago titled “Giving to the Arts,” emphasizing the importance that the arts play in our lives.

Your support of the arts at this time in our history is more important than ever before.

As we are being urged and ordered to stay home, let us remember the important role that the arts are now playing in our daily lives.

While live performances are not possible, artists in every genre, from theatre to music to the fine arts, are streaming programs live on your TV and computer.

Opera, ballet, classical and pop concerts are being rebroadcast, while individual artists are recording live from their home studios, most at their own expense.

The Annual Country Music Association awards show was canceled last week, so the country stars performed for two hours from their homes, followed by Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood hosting an hour-long request show from their home studio.

Locally, theatre groups are doing readings, holding classes and airing some of their past recorded performances.

Gamm has Artistic Director Tony Estrella doing a lecture on Shakespeare. Wilbury is streaming a number of lectures. Check your favorite theatre’s website for many other online options. FirstWorks has a number of fascinating online features, including virtual learning opportunities. And check the Waterfire site for daily programs.

Rhode Island has a plethora of visual and performing artists and arts organizations that desperately need our financial support, as unemployment peaks.

Consider giving a future gift subscription to friends and relatives. Buy one for yourself. If you have already bought tickets for canceled performances, contribute the cost of the ticket.

And please, if you are able, make a donation to your favorite(s), and consider them in your will.

And tonight, while you are sitting at home, enjoy the PBS concert version of “Les Miserables” or that great CD of the Rhode Island Philharmonic.

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