Life without the arts

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The arts community is used to fighting for federal funding for the arts, speculating as to what it would be like living without them.

Thanks to this nasty virus, we are getting a bitter taste – a reality check – of just what an impact it would have on us, especially our senior population.

Last week’s Rhode Island Philharmonic concert was cancelled/postponed, along with PPAC’s Blue Man Group, Trinity’s production of “A Tale of Two Cities,” Gamm’s “Assassins” and Wilbury’s “Miss You Like Hell,” all with positive opening reviews. Just added are productions at Burbage, Mixed Magic, Community Players and Epic, literally shutting down the theatre scene.

Showcase Cinemas closed, where two of the worst movies of the year opened.

Cirque de Soleil canceled their June tour.

The economic impact on the theatres, arts organizations, surrounding restaurants and artists is staggering.

Seniors are especially hard hit, even with some of the smaller theatres and venues still operating, as health officials advise those over 60 to avoid any social interaction.

Libraries have closed.

Restaurants are struggling to survive. Waitpersons are being let go, and those staying are making less in tips.

And no one knows how long this will last.

The sports community is feeling the effect even more, with the Providence Bruins, NHL, NBA, NCAA, MLB and just about every organized sport suspending play.

With government officials urging us to “stay in place,” we look to family and our own wits for entertainment, leaving us with TV, radio, computer games, board games, and a simpler life like our elders lived.

Meanwhile, as local artists and performers look to hard times, it would be great if those of us who had bought tickets to arts events consider donating the cost of those tickets to the organization.

It certainly makes us aware of what an important role the arts, entertainment, yes even sports, play in our daily lives.

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