By Paige Atwell
Founder of The Healing Power of Art & Artists Renee Phillips writes, “Decades of research have provided more than a sufficient amount of data to prove that arts education impacts everything from overall academic achievement to social and emotional development and so much more. Research has proven the arts develop neural systems that produce a broad spectrum of benefits ranging from fine motor skills to creativity and improved emotional balance. Quite simply, the arts are invaluable to our proper functioning individually and as a society.” There are a lot of things we miss, and a lot of things to look forward to once life gets back to (somewhat) normal. For a large part of the middle Tennessee area, what we’re missing most is the one-of-a-kind artistic experiences that this area brings each and every year. From Broadway shows at Tennessee Performing Arts Center and original and enchanting productions at the Nashville Ballet, to the exciting and robust performances of Studio Tenn and Pull-Tight Theatre, there is simply no greater place to immerse yourself into the arts.
Over the past several months, they’ve closed to keep us safe, so now it’s time that we help them. While we may not be able to purchase tickets to shows or be there in person, there are several ways we can help support the arts community during this time. In a letter of unity published by OZ Arts Nashville, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Children’s Theatre, Nashville Opera, Nashville Repertory Theatre, The Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nashville Symphony, Studio Tenn and Tennessee Performing Arts Center, leaders in the arts community laid out the following ways that we as a community can do our part. Here are three ways you can currently support our local arts community:
All of the organizations endorsing this appeal rely on the support of both patrons and donors to further their mission to serve the community through the arts. If you purchased a ticket to a show
that has been postponed or cancelled because of COVID-19, please consider donating the price of your ticket back to the performing arts organization. If you would like to support the organization directly, one-time or recurring donations are both welcome contributions and excellent ways to help. These organizations are all 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, and all donations made to support them are tax-exempt charitable contributions. You can find out more information about how to support these companies through their individual websites.
2. REACH OUT TO GOVERNMENT LEADERS
As ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic continue to play out, immediate and bold action will be required by all communities to provide relief for affected individuals, companies, and industries. Our rich cultural history and thriving arts scene are critical components of what make Nashville and its surrounding communities so desirable for people from across this country who are looking to start a new business or find a new community to call home. As local, state, and federal leaders create legislative relief resources, we ask that you serve as an advocate for the support of local fine arts organizations alongside other impacted arts and entertainment workers, venues, and companies such as:
Arts Action Fund: artsactionfund.org
Tennesseans for the Arts: tn4arts.org
Metro Arts: metroartsnashville.com
3. CONNECT ONLINE
Although in-person gatherings have been limited, the arts community is still creating engaging content and inspiring audiences online. In
a time when we can’t be together physically, we are endeavoring to connect from a distance. Please like, follow, and subscribe to local performing arts organizations on social media and engage directly with the creative ways they are connecting with fans during this unique season. By interacting, commenting, liking, and sharing content, you are introducing more people to the valuable contributions that arts organizations add to our community.
To help get you started, here is a list of some local arts companies that could use your help. Whether it’s making a donation, advocating on their behalf or supporting them online, let’s all do our part to lift up our beloved arts community and help prepare them for a strong 2021 season.
Country Music Hall of Fame
Frist Art Museum
Nashville Children’s Theatre
Nashville Repertory Theatre
Oz Arts Nashville
Tennessee Performing Arts Center
The Nashville Shakespeare Festival