Column: The Arts must go on

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Commentary by Jeffrey C. McDermott

For weeks now, the venues at the Center for the Performing Arts have been empty and quiet, but the work of the Center, its resident companies and the Great American Songbook Foundation has continued in full force. Although our on-site programming is suspended, we are very much in business and working to fulfill our respective missions. Each organization has been busy creating and sharing all varieties of virtual content through email and social media: The Center’s Quarantine Karaoke contest and twice-weekly Interlude newsletter; classes from Civic Theatre; performances from Actors Theatre of Indiana and the Carmel Symphony Orchestra; and the list goes on.

Talented, artistic people do not stop being creative simply because they no longer have live audiences in front of them. To the contrary, that challenge only makes them more creative in presenting their talents, and we are bursting at the seams with art that needs to be let loose. Social media, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, FaceTime and similar outlets have become the new venues of necessity, proving that even if the show can’t go on, the arts always will. We are blessed that this community has embraced the arts and appreciates the richness art brings to our lives. Never has that been more true, or more needed, than now.

So, we will continue to get up each morning, make our beds and go to work – albeit remotely – in this new normal. The Center and its resident companies will keep planning our upcoming seasons, booking new shows, raising money and developing innovative educational programming. And we will continue to create and provide virtual content and entertainment to a community that has supported us for so long.

We look forward to gathering and enjoying remarkable performances again in person – and we will. It is only a matter of time before our halls will again be alive with the sound of music.


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