NEA Chair Talks Pandemic Response and the Road Ahead for the Arts

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NEA Chair Talks Pandemic Response and the Road Ahead for the Arts

NEA chair Mary Anne Carter shares her thoughts on the state of the arts throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond in a new interview with the Chicago Tribune.

Acknowledging the struggle for survival for many arts organizations are facing as the months wear on, Carter and the NEA are already looking to the future by monitoring public opinion when it comes to potential re-opening.

She explains, "We are surveying all the disciplines. We are finding that people just are not comfortable, and are not really sure when they will be comfortable, with going into a theater or a concert hall or a dance hall. But even for those organizations who are surviving right now, we know they can't survive another six months or a year without people coming through the door."

She continues, "The next phase involves, how to do you get people back through the door? We are trying to provide recommendations that arts organizations can achieve to assure their constituencies that these are safe environments. Do you provide masks and gloves? Do you make sure the audience has their own masks and gloves? Is it rearranging seating? We are trying to gauge what the arts community is thinking in terms of providing that safe environment. We need to be able to let an audience know, yes we can come through for you."

Despite the challenges ahead, Carter remains optimistic, "When we are on the other side of this and people feel safe again, they will want to go and see a live show or go dance in a studio. The want will always be there."

Read the full interview at The Chicago Tribune.


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