Next week I’ll attend my first indoors, in-person theater/dance performance as part of the Fringe Festival. Admission to the performance, Love Unpunished, by Pig Iron Theatre Company and co-produced by Swarthmore College, is reserved for fully vaccinated people wearing masks. I’m willing to take a little risk to see a performance by one of my favorite theater companies, commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11. But how does the general public feel about indoor, in-person performances and programs? The answer to that question will be coming soon as many organizations that have been working primarily virtually for 18 months reopen to the public.
We are cheering on the many organizations taking this leap – like the Kimmel Center, which will have its open house Arts Launch on September 18, and the many others reaffirming their commitment to in-person programming. But we also recognize that some measure of online programs and operations are here to stay and want to support arts organizations in that work as well. Later this fall, we’ll be hosting our second season of Digital Drawingboard, a program that teaches arts leaders new skills in their online programming, marketing, and fundraising efforts.
As we look ahead to the upcoming year, we are thinking about how we need to adjust our own programs to best suit our stakeholders and the current COVID climate. For the third time, we will host our Business on Board program virtually in January 2022. But we have moved our Business on Board Intensive to the late spring in the hopes of still having the program safely in-person. We are taking each program on a case-by-case basis.
I am incredibly excited to experience the upcoming season of in-person programs, but nearly as intrigued to see how this next wave of online arts innovation will take us to new places as well.
Arts + Business Council