Even during a pandemic, the arts go on.
Around this time last year, I would have opened the paper and seen the polished Fall Arts Preview, a special section we used to run every September, giving our readers insight into what to expect from the arts, live performance and literary, music and cultural scenes of Monterey County for the rest of the year. It always started with a little intro (kind of like this one), trying to summarize what I felt was an all-encompassing message.
Given the ongoing SIP restrictions that have left performing arts venues shuttered and visual arts venues very limited, that special issue is not going to happen this year. I have mixed feelings about it. It was an intense amount of work that started months in advance, fact-checking, coordinating with staff writers and freelancers to manifest a months-long calendar of events. I don’t miss that part.
I do miss, however, the great sense of pride I felt when we were done. I’d flip through the pages and realize, this is more than just the Weekly’s work—there are people out there in our community constantly creating and collaborating and putting on exhibits, shows and concerts, all for the benefit of keeping art alive and thriving.
Some of the events have even been going on for decades—like the Monterey Jazz Festival or Monterey Symphony. Even as we strove to capture a range of taste, it was always awe-inspiring to see that no matter where you live in Monterey County, whatever type of music you listen to, whether you’re all about Broadway musicals or remixing Shakespeare for a modern-day audience, there was something for everyone, and it all belonged to everyone. The Weekly’s Fall Arts Preview was just a reminder to our readers: It was there if they wanted it.
It might feel like that vibrant piece of life in our community has gone dormant, especially as venues have shut down will be pretty much the last to reopen during the pandemic. But artists go on.
This week’s Hot Picks section is dedicated to the legacy of Fall Arts Preview and its message, that art always exists. Venues are adapting. The walls aren’t bare at museums and galleries, and in fact, they want your artwork. From this time of sudden scarcity, perhaps it’s time to create our own abundance.
-Marielle Argueza, staff writer, firstname.lastname@example.org