COVID-19: The arts are feeling it too


By Patsy Nicosia

COVID-19 is already having an impact on the arts—and with it the local economy.
But Dennis Shaw, who coordinates and administers Schoharie County grants for CREATE wants to stress one thing:
Events that were on the calendar to begin as soon as April and May are being postponed.
Not cancelled.
A couple—Sonny Ochs’ Not So Quiet concerts at the Middleburgh Library and life drawing classes at Schoharie’s—have already hit the pause button, Mr. Shaw said, while others, like the Schoharie Valley Singers and Theater Project of Schoharie County have lost practice space with school closures—something that will impact their productions.
But most groups and most grants recipients are still in the process of assessing things and waiting to make any changes.
“No one knows where this is going or how long it will last,” Mr. Shaw said.
He knows; he has an April 24 reception honoring 2020 grants recipients on the calendar and is waiting to see how it all plays out.
Mr. Shaw said that he’s been assured, however, that all of the New York State Council on the Arts grants will be awarded with the understanding that the events will take place at some point—even if it’s not until 2021.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty, but we’ll work with everyone,” he said, with the hope that by summer, some events will be able to be held.
Many of the CREATE events are free; others charge minimal admission charges, but they’re all a part of local economic development efforts.
And with work by SEEC, and Destination Marketing and the county to bring all of that together, Mr. Shaw said, the crisis couldn’t come at a worse time.
“But again, we’ll get through this,” he said. “Things are postponed. Not cancelled.”