As we enter the post-quarantine world, there are a vast array of jobs, industries and organizations that are going to need help coming back to life. The arts are certainly on this list, and the Arvada Center has launched a new campaign to get the fire going.
Running through Sept. 1, the new Reignite the Arts campaign is an effort to raise $1 million to offset the loss from canceled performances, keep the arts alive and people employed at this vital cultural resource. Thus far, about $470,525 has been raised from about 1,119 donors.
“We're facing the same challenge as everyone else in the performing arts world - our business model is entirely based on bringing large groups of people together in close quarters to perform for them,” said Philip C. Sneed, president and CEO of the Center. “We're so grateful for the support the community has shown. We see it every day, and it keeps us working.”
The Center shut its doors at 2 p.m. on March 16, with five productions in various stages of life. Since then, the organization has worked hard to provide outlets for creativity in a variety of ways - livestreamed conversations, accepting submissions for a new exhibit that chronicles life during the pandemic, and many of the Center's classes have continued virtually.
“All of our year-round staff have been working from home planning and designing next season,” wrote Teresa YoKell, vice president of advancement at the Center, in an email interview.
According to YoKell, word has been spread on social media, outreach from Sneed and through a new blog called Humans of the Arvada Center.
“These written stories are transformed into short videos that we have been sharing with the community. They tell the powerful and moving stories of the inspiring people who work at the Arvada Center,” she wrote. “These are stories about passion, determination, resiliency, perseverance, love, and hope - exactly what we all need to be thinking about during a global pandemic.”
What the future - both immediate and distant - future looks like for the Arvada Center has yet to be determined. Sneed explained that some guidelines for performing arts centers' reopening won't be issued for months, but the Center needs to make decisions sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, galleries will be able to reopen in the next month or so, and the Center will do so with Pink Progressions, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment. Summer camps will be offered in a reduced capacity, and ways to livestream theatrical productions are also being examined.
“You hear so much about there being nothing but goodwill out there, and we know people miss being at the Center,” Sneed said. “You can do virtual art, but it's the in-person experience that can't be replaced.”
Visit www.arvadacenter.org/home/reignite-the-arts for more information and to donate.
Activity time - Cyber Dance 2020
If you're looking for a way to get your blood pumping, why not get stepping with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Academy's Cyber Dance 2020? The online classes and movement activities are available for all ages and level of ability.
For each of the pre-recorded class selections there's a “Pick Your Price” option which allows participants to support the artists at a price that they can live with. Live-streaming academy classes are also available.
For Cyber Dance options, visit www.cleoparkerdance.org/academy/.
Clarke's Concert of the Week - Streaming Outta Fenway
On Friday, May 29 at 4 p.m., Boston's legendary Fenway Park will host a full electric livestream performance from Irish punk-rock stompers Dropkick Murphys. And they'll be joined by The Boss himself - Bruce Springsteen - for a little double-play action. There will be no audience in the stands, which the group says makes this the first time a band has played a full show in an empty sports stadium.
The show will raise funds for Boston Resiliency Fund, Habitat For Humanity, and Feeding America. To watch the free show, visit www.DropkickMurphys.com.
Streaming style - Daniel Sloss' comedy specials
Scotland's Daniel Sloss is easily one of the funniest and most thoughtful comedians working today. His three available specials - “Dark,” “Jigsaw” and “X” - all show a man capable of tackling a variety of topics and themes while expertly providing the kind of laughs that make your stomach hurt.
In one of his specials, Sloss describes what he does as 70 to 75 minutes of jokes, “and then I do a sad 15-minute TED Talk.” It works because what he does in those first 70 to 75 minutes are so uproariously hilarious and the “TED Talk,” is so incredibly earnest and human, even while often being uncomfortable and challenging.
In other words, Sloss' comedy shows are provocative in the best possible way. “Dark” and “Jigsaw” are streaming on Netflix, and “X” is available on HBO.
Clarke Reader's column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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