Local arts and coronavirus: What's canceled, what's happening and what you can still do | Buzz Blog

Friday, March 13, 2020

Local arts and coronavirus: What's canceled, what's happening and what you can still do

Posted By on March 13, 2020, 12:25 PM

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We’re in uncharted territory as the COVID-19 epidemic touches on every aspect of daily life, including the cancelation of performing arts events to facilitate social distancing. Though it might be a while before all shows, theatrical productions and other large-scale gatherings are back to business as usual, here are ways to help ride out the storm in ways that support both your own need for art and entertainment to brighten dark times, and support the organizations and individuals who create that art.

Some events are still taking place: Yes, most performances and venues have suspended, canceled or plan to re-schedule shows for at least the next two-to-four weeks, including Utah Symphony, Salt Lake Acting Company and all Salt Lake County Arts facilities. However, it’s best to check directly with any organization’s website to confirm their plans. For example, while Pioneer Theatre Company has canceled its main-stage production Ass, originally scheduled to open March 27, at press time they are still planning to continue their Play-by-Play readings, with smaller audiences in the large auditorium space to allow for space between patrons.

Ski resorts: As of the afternoon of Thursday, March 12, Utah’s ski resorts announced that they are still open for operations, while following all CDC and state-recommended guidelines for individual safety. Updated 3/19: All area ski resorts have now suspended operations; full details and daily updates can be found here.

Remote streaming of events: It’s still early, and it’s possible we’ll see more organizations attempt to make performances available via streaming. As of today, the Excellence in the Community concerts at Gallivan Center have announced that their regular Wednesday evening (7:30 p.m.) performances will continue, with no live audience. But anyone who is interested will be able to watch those performances—next one March 18, featuring Martha Chavez—via live-stream on the Gallivan Center and Excellence in the Community Facebook pages.

Books, books, books: We’ll all likely have extra time on our hands, and turning to the comforting old-school feel of a book in your hand might be just the ticket. The King’s English Bookshop (as of press time) plans to remain open for book sales, though author events have been canceled for the time being, with heightened cleanliness and maintaining social distancing. But the store is also offering two additional services to facilitate sales. “Driveby pickup” will allow anyone to order a book at 801-484-9100, pay by credit card, and pick up the purchase at the store’s side door without leaving their car. And for residents of Salt Lake County, store employees are providing personal delivery to your home for phone or online purchases within two days.

Additionally, the Salt Lake City Library and Salt Lake County Library remain able to service ebook checkouts for anyone with a library card.

Salt Lake Film Society: As of press time, local movie theaters remain open. That includes the Salt Lake Film Society, which issued a release regarding preventive measures to insure patron safety. In addition to heightened cleaning efforts and availability of hand sanitizer and full soap dispensers, the theater has instituted a policy of not selling more than 100 tickets for any specific showtime bloc (noon, 2 p.m., 4 p.m., etc.) to meet state social distancing guidelines. Updated 3/13, 6:59 p.m.: Salt Lake Film Society is now closing through April 17.

Supporting Those Impacted by Arts Events Cancellations: Innumerable performing and visual artists are going to be hurting financially as the result of canceled events, as well as those who support those events as staff, ushers, concessions sales and more. One way to help support those individuals (and organizations) impacted is to consider not seeking refunds for already-purchased tickets. Additionally, several fund-raising measures are being set up for anyone who has the ability to donate. The Utah Cultural Alliance has set up such a fund-raiser for individuals, or to make donations directly to not-for-profit arts organizations through their websites (visit here for a fairly comprehensive list).

Podcasts: Now is as good a time as any to discover some of the fascinating podcasts created by Utahans, or about subjects of local interest. Player FM provides a great list, though many of them are defunct or have not been updated in quite some time. True-crime, history, faith, politics, sports, food, pop culture and more all have passionate local experts who can help provide both entertainment and information.

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