I have been asked, “How can the arts go on right now? Aren’t the arts better live and in-person?” This is a difficult series of questions, as the arts are definitely a communal experience between people within a society. And this experience has powerful effects when done by a group of people together in the same space. Think of the time you were left in awe by the visual sculpture you saw created by a student or the effect of a musical solo in a crowded theatre or the laugh of a huge crowd to improvised satire. These all have strong and immediate effects on groups of people experiencing a unique human expression in the same time and space. However, in the absence of this as an in-person possibility, the maintaining of artistic exposure and creation remains paramount to the human experience, especially now. That is what YOUR BFAC has been, and is, dedicated to, as we find ourselves halfway through this pandemic. We have brought our community the arts through a new medium of “LIVE” experience, under the guise of our new “BFAC on air” streaming service found on our website.
Through the past months, we have brought you your favorite local student events, from plays to National Art Honors Society induction to the beloved Kaleidoscope Concert. Our streaming has also broken state lines, bringing the area artists from around the country.
Our two month FREE streaming season was a hit. The effect of streaming the arts right now is best put in the words of one of our patrons, “My mom and I both enjoyed the free series event. We would text each other what snacks we had from the ‘concession stand’ and then text during the concert as if we were seated together. We both had come to look forward to our Thursday night concerts together while still remotely apart. I am very grateful to Batavia Fine Art Centre for the several weeks of fun.” This uniting of people is what the arts do, whether in-person or virtual. This is the power the arts have in life. This is what BFAC on air will continue to do until we are in-person once again.
In the coming months, you can expect even more virtual music concerts from students of all ages, the high school musical filmed in the style of a motion picture, a Rock the Runway performance like none we have produced before, live-streamed theatrical improvisation as well as additional performances from around the country.
So, yes, the arts are definitely best when we can experience them together as a community, but what supersedes the ability to experience the arts in the same space and time, is the mandate we have as human beings to create and experience art, especially in these times. I think the biggest joy in my career is taking place right now, and that is keeping young artists engaged and creating art. They are the musicians, painters, filmmakers, and actors of the future. You know what though? … They are also the biomedical engineers, teachers, and creative thinkers who will bring us through future crises.
A pandemic can not stop the arts, it has only made us more determined to find ways to bring the arts to life. So, “How can the arts go on right now?” … I ask you … How can they be stopped?
Dominic A. Cattero – BFAC Manager