performing arts

photo courtesy of James Scoolis

With music venues closed and COVID-19 restrictions in place, musicians have been out of work for months. Now local musicians are circulating a petition, advocating for an end to the prohibition of live music events.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than five million Americans who make their living in the arts and cultural sector across the U.S. Cancellation of gigs, concerts, openings and engagements to quell the spread of the virus is wreaking havoc on artists, businesses, nonprofits, institutions and individuals of all types. As with other industries, the pandemic is bound to have a severe impact on the financial health of our local arts organizations and individual artists.

The arts are often the first to be cut from public school budgets and sadly, they are simply out of reach for many low-income families. The cost of private lessons can mean the difference between a guitar lesson and having food on the table. It is so important to the cognitive development of our young people and especially those who do not learn well in traditional settings to be able to express themselves through song, dance, art or acting. When young people are enriched by the arts, they do better in their regular school classes, they make like-minded friends, they find mentors and look forward to higher education goals. They learn to collaborate and reach for the stars. This is why Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation (PRYAF) was created with a mission to enrich the lives of area youth with free classes in the visual and performing arts in a safe, nurturing environment. They provide over 300 students ages 5–18 with over fifty weekly classes and serve over 1,200 students annually on the Central Coast.

Broadcast date: 4/19/2018

Opera San Luis Obispo (OperaSLO) is the region's only professional opera company, and one of only four Grand Opera companies in the state. Productions boast full orchestras, choruses, ballet, and original, complete sets and costumes. They do this by collaborating with other non-profit organizations that share their vision of artistic excellence. Their diverse events range from elegant and intimate recital series to exciting educational experiences and spectacular grand opera and musical theatre productions.

Broadcast date: 10/27/16

Few would deny the critical role that arts play in developing a vibrant and strong community. They have a crucial impact on our economy, and are vital to stimulating our creativity. In 2013, we found that almost half (43%) of ACTION survey respondents reported that they attended a music, dance or theater performance in the last month and that half of survey respondents were concerned about access to cultural opportunities in their community. These data illustrate the importance of the arts in our community.