The pandemic’s toll has been especially harsh on the performing arts. Broadway is shut down until at least 2021. Film and television productions are on an indefinite hiatus and traditional concerts are a thing of the past. All of these industries have huge footprints, employing millions of people across the country, from the ticket collector at your local amphitheater, to the craft services company who feeds the film crew, to the marketing team who advertises the next broadway hit. No one will go unscathed.
To add to the already perilous situation, these predominantly gig based economies are often centralized in expensive metropolitan cities. Many of the contributors are running out of options as they struggle to keep up. There is no light in sight at the end of the tunnel. When we make it through to the other side, the art industry and many of our mainstay cultural institutions may be unrecognizable. What happens when our seemingly endless reservoir of content starts to dry up? How many of our future stars will give up on their dreams to find a more stable career? What is lost is not quantifiable, but the artistic void in the shadow of the pandemic will be deeply felt for years to come.