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Art In The Time Of Coronavirus

Courtesy University of Wyoming Art Museum

Arts organizations throughout Wyoming are stepping up with creative online activities while the coronavirus epidemic keeps people home.Wyoming Arts Council director Michael Lange said we need art now more than ever. "I think in times like this, in times of strife and in times of disaster and pandemic, people turn to the arts, people turn to the artists, to look for ways to make sense of the world that's around them," Lange said. "Ways to enjoy, to comfort, to feed your soul."

So Lange says just because performances and exhibitions are canceled doesn't mean art is canceled. After all, these are creative people. Relative Theatrics in Laramie is planning an online Playwrights' Festival. A Wyoming children's book author is leading lunchtime kid's doodles. Bands are live-streaming living room concerts.

But with the cancellations arts organizations and artists are missing revenue. Lange said that if you're able, there are several ways you can shore up your local artists and arts organizations.

"You went to a gallery opening or saw a piece hanging in the window of a gallery downtown that you really like, this is a great time to reach out to that artist and say, hey, remember when? And try to purchase that work," Lange said.

Lange suggested making donations, and purchasing tickets for next season. If you're not financially able to support the arts right now, he said you can raise awareness of artists and their work online by sharing their work and events on social media.

You can sign up for email alerts and forward those to others who might be interested. And if you're an artist or an organization looking for resources, the Wyoming Arts Council website has links to grants that could help.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Erin Jones, at ejones29@uwyo.edu.

Erin Jones is Wyoming Public Radio's cultural affairs producer, as well as the host and senior producer of HumaNature. She began her audio career as an intern in the Wyoming Public Radio newsroom, and has reported on issues ranging from wild horse euthanization programs to the future of liberal arts in universities. Her audio work has been featured on WHYY Philadelphia’s The Pulse and the podcast Out There.
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