Arts & Culture

Live music venues were among the first to close and have yet to fully reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. As concerts, festivals and other performances have been canceled or postponed indefinitely, most event spaces and clubs have remained closed to the general public for eight months.

Artists paint murals during a recent Art Unites Columbus Event outside of the Ohio Theater.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the cultural economy, the businesses and the people that make their living creating music, food and art.

GCAC and CAPA paid local artists to paint murals over boarded-up windows at the Ohio Theatre.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

Small businesses, bars and restaurants, low-income renters, arts groups, and colleges and universities are among those eligible for $420 million in federal pandemic dollars being released by the state this week, Gov. Mike DeWine and his fellow Republican legislative leaders announced.

The glass doors of the Ohio Theatre were damaged during protests on May 28. They've been covered up by a quote from Les Miserables.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

The Columbus Museum of Art has announced it was laying off 39 employees and slashing their budget due to money lost during coronavirus. It’s the latest example of an arts organization that has suffered because of COVID-19. 

While it's still unknown when musicians and touring artists will again be able to perform in venues, those based abroad and hoping to tour the U.S. will face increased costs to do so legally.

Six months ago, Scott Hammontree's job consisted of long nights spent at his music venue, The Intersection, where, as operating partner, he's been helping to break artists like Eric Church for nearly two decades. But, almost every day since Apr. 24, Hammontree has woken up, picked up the phone or logged on to a video conference app and started calling Washington, advocating for federal relief that could save homegrown businesses like his.

The state has released a reopening plan for the performing arts which takes into account the many variables that come with live theater and music, such as food and intermission. However, a final health order has yet to be signed.

Performing Arts studies at the University of Akron took a major hit last month because of massive job cuts campus-wide. With the fall semester about the start, there are some changes afoot.

Mary Maxon was out raking hay on her tractor yesterday morning when a beep on her phone alerted her to the good news. The arts organization she runs on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota had just been awarded a $50,000 grant through the CARES Act.

As Entertainment Venues Reopen, Will People Go?

Jun 26, 2020

As restaurants, museums and movie theaters reopen, the majority of U.S. adults do not yet feel comfortable patronizing them, according to a new national survey.

Columbus Arts Fest In Place

Jun 11, 2020
The Columbus Arts Festival
Paul Cook / Flickr

In March, when a 100-year pandemic shuttered museums, music venues, theaters, dance troupes and more, the arts community was thrust into full-on crisis mode.

Still, artists of all stripes found endless and creative ways to connect people to art.

Columbus’ largest annual arts event, which typically brings more than 400,000 downtown each June, starts Friday with a virtual reboot.

Across the country, music venues remain closed due to the pandemic — and according to a new survey, 90 percent of independent venue owners, promoters and bookers say that they will have to close permanently within the next few months, if they can't get an infusion of targeted government funding.

The theatre, seen here with a temporary front facade, partially collapsed late Thursday.
Avalon Theatre / Facebook

A years-long effort to restore a historic theater in uptown Marysville suffered a major setback Thursday night when part of the building collapsed. 

Movie theatres like the AMC at Easton Town Center will be allowed to reopen on June 10.
David Holm / WOSU

The state is allowing the reopening of larger entertainment venues on June 10, including movie theaters, museums and zoos. Health officials say companies will have to look over every facet of their venue in order to comply with the protocols.

Across the state of Ohio, local music venues are struggling as the coronavirus pandemic has forced these entertainment hotspots to keep operations at a standstill. Local musicians who rely on live performances to earn a steady income have suffered with planned concerts canceled or postponed indefinitely.

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