As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, it’s critical to acknowledge the isolation we’ve experienced and the need to recreate community. Over the past year (and two months, and however many days…) our social circles have become smaller and meeting people for the first time has become rare if not impossible. We try to make our eyes look like they’re smiling as we pass each other with masks on, from a six foot distance, on the street. We’ve turned to television, streaming and Zoom in an attempt to feel connected. We’re feeling anxious about socializing and the future still feels uncertain.
It’s now time to address the pandemic of fear and isolation. We need to come together in community with strangers in live space.
The Pivot Arts Festival has always been about building community. We seek to represent many different people on our stages and to create empathy for stories that are not our own. This year coming together takes on an entirely different meaning.
As an arts organization, we felt that it was essential to find a safe way to be together in live space. How are we doing this?
- All artists, staff and volunteers are following a strict community health agreement in compliance with CDC and local guidelines
- Audience members and artists/staff must wear masks
- Regardless of vaccination status, no one who feels ill or has been knowingly exposed to Covid-19 attends an event
- Capacity at events is extremely limited
- There are no ensemble shows indoors with audiences sitting for long times in a theater space; our main indoor event is a walking tour through video installations and short live performances of solo dance/theater works and a trio
- Outdoor performance events with social distancing
So much of managing the pandemic has been about risk assessment — is it OK for me to get a haircut, is it safe to send my kids to school, can a vaccinated friend and I meet outdoors without masks…?
As an arts organization, we cannot speak to any of those questions. But what we do know is that it is essential that as soon as it’s safe to do so, we must gather again in live spaces and experience stories surrounded by empathetic strangers. The risks of isolation are too great.
While events will be different this year, I can’t wait to see you all back at live performance. Please reserve your tickets today. And if you’re feeling anxious about attending, email me! I can’t wait to talk to strangers again: julieanne (at) pivotarts (dot) org
Photo by Karla Conrod of Propelled Animals who participate in the Utopian Performance Tour running May 21 – June 5.