Volume 2 No. 12 |March 17, 2020
I keep hearing Rod Serling saying, "Imagine, if you will ... " but who ever could have imagined what has happened here in little more than a week? If only we were living an episode of The Twilight Zone.

As we find our way through this world of guidelines becoming rules becoming laws, changing almost daily, Arts Blast will take on a different look for a few weeks (hoping it's only a few weeks). I'll be looking for your tales of dealing with anything you have to. If you're a student or have one at home, let us know how this situation is being survived.

As updates come in, they'll be posted to Willi Miller's Arts Blast Facebook page. Send your arts updates to me at willi@willimiller.com.

The appeal that has surfaced across the board: If we want our music, dance, theater, and art when we finally get through this — and we will — our support is desperately needed.

From David Amado - Music Director of the Atlantic Classical Orchestra:
Crazy stuff happening.
Long-term effects: hard to know—but short term is going to be tight for musicians of all kinds—from Orchestra players to jazz musicians. I really feel for musicians now. Pretty much all of the Spring work has vanished—and many musicians run a pretty tight operation—and there is not a lot of room for financial crises like these. Some musicians go paycheck to paycheck. Some have no health insurance. So this kind of situation can be dire, and poses a real danger. I hope our communities understand the very fragile nature of our work and existence. 

Bottom line - If you're holding a ticket and can afford to help, don't turn it back for a refund.🤗

Scroll to the bottom for suggestions and links to free things. Met Opera, anyone?
This just came in:
How Do You Deal With a Sucker Punch to an Institution Like Under the Oaks?
Alicia Quinn, co-chair of Under the Oaks, took us through it, step by step.

It was totally unexpected and hit us very hard. We are still dealing with the aftermath and will for weeks to come.  

We had continually checked with county health, followed the governor's office releases, and monitored CDC recommendations. As of Thursday afternoon and Friday morning it was required that we have visible signage at all entrances with CDC statements indicating those who met any conditions on the list should NOT ENTER THE SHOW. We created signs with the exact wordage released from the governor's office. We felt we were in compliance.

On Friday at around 12:45 pm a city employee contacted me via my cell phone indicating he had CDC signs that were to be placed at all entrances. I indicated we had made our own but would be happy to post the official ones. He delivered them to me at about 2:20 and we installed two of them at each of the 3 entrances. Again we felt we were doing everything required of us to kept our artists, volunteers, and patrons safe.

At about 3:45 Chief Curry and another officer came to see me. He indicated that there had been a meeting at Cleveland Clinic attended by the mayor, county commissioner, county health and others and that our show had to shut down at 5pm when it closed for the day. He indicated all artists must pack up and leave that day.  

I asked many questions and received little information. I related the info about the signs we just posted at city request; asked what changed so much in an hour to bring about this huge reversal. I got no answers. I was not willing to close and indicated that the CDC paperwork he provided me stated it was a recommendation not mandated; the chief stated he was mandating it - we must close down. I asked for it in writing but he refused.  

4 other volunteer members of our UTO committee joined me in going tent to tent informing artists of the mandate to close. Artists were very surprised, cooperated, and asked questions we couldn't answer. "would they get refunds? would they be invited back the next year? were judges decisions available? would artists get awards?..." We did not have all the answers as we never contemplated being closed down after one day. Most artists were very cooperative and thanked me for trying to keep the show open. My heart went out to them. All their shows for the next 6 weeks are cancelled, this was their last chance and we were shut down. How do you live with no income during your busiest and most lucrative time of the year? 
The artists and food vendors packed up and prepared to leave. Security was on site by then to ensure everything was safe as they closed down and left. Key volunteer committee members arranged for companies we had contracts with to pick up tents, golf carts, port-o-lets, etal on Saturday rather than Monday.
Committee members reported back to the park as early as 5am on Saturday to pack our materials, ensure all rental items were claimed by contractors, move all our equipment and supplies to storage, clean the park of any debris. We were pretty discouraged and knew we had a great deal of additional work to complete because of the abrupt closing. Artists award checks and ribbons are routinely announced at Saturday morning breakfast and delivered to the artists that morning; those now needed to be mailed to the 37 award winning artists.  
Art club and UTO committee executive team members had to meet to discuss refunds to artist, food vendors, and sponsors. The club would suffer major loss of income as our largest fundraiser was not completed leaving us with concerns for the artists, food vendors, and sponsors. There is no insurance available for such situations. We are still working through these issues. 

All artists have received an email from us with a list of award winners and a request to give us some time to work other details out. We are preparing award checks for mailing and need to come up with a packaging for the ribbons to be mailed which will cost us even more!

Our club will need to take a long hard look at what community commitments we can fulfil this year. With a significant loss of income we will have to curtail some of the scholarship, community service, and donation programs we routinely fund. Our board will have to address this shortfall and adjust spending accordingly. Like many organizations, home owners, and individuals worldwide we will all have to make major changes in our plans based on the devastation of this virus. 
More from Alicia Quinn - Cultural Council of Indian River County and Vero Beach Art Club

As the weekend unfolded and continuing updates regarding closings streamed in, I was overwhelmed. The closing of our primary arts and cultural institutions was a huge reality check. The need to eliminate gatherings of patrons celebrating exhibitions of visual and performing arts in our community in order to protect them from each other and this virus was unknown to me in all my years. Many of my favorite Vero Beach attractions are closed to me for the foreseeable future.  

My concern for these treasured cultural organizations and their future, for the local artists and artisans, as well as the workers who make these institutions and events take form was first and foremost in my mind.  It was easy to recognize that these mandated, necessary closing would have a major financial impact. The trickle down effect is even more pervasive. 

These closings affect the working man's livelihood; many people in our community depend on the tourism industry and the arts institutions for a living.

Loss of performances/lectures/events at the theaters, art museum, Emerson Center and galleries as well as concerts, operas, ballets, and musical performances will all impact our restaurant industry and others. These closings don't just cancel our day and evening enjoyment, they cancel workers paychecks.  

I personally will not accept any refunds for events/performances cancelled; I will ask the institution to accept it as a donation. In addition, I will strive to make additional donations, to the extent that I can, to assist our local institutions who will suffer major financial losses by closing during the height of season. We all need to pull together and assist each other as we move forth to control and eradicate this virus and come out whole in the end. If possible, reach out to one of our many arts organizations during this difficult time; purchase a ticket for a future event or make a donation.  

The impact of this will be far reaching here in Florida. All tourism industry will feel it as visitors do not come. Add this to damage done by hurricane Dorian, red tide, green algae and it will be the final blow that destroys some of our locals.  
Terrible times for sure. 
A Closing Unrelated to CO-VID19

From Glenda Taylor:

TIGER LILY ART STUDIOS AND GALLERY will close its doors for good on April 30 th , after a great run of almost 30 years in Vero Beach. The six artists each have plans to continue to work together in their private studios and will post new work on their Instagram page tiger_lily_vero, and the gallery facebook page will remain active with posts of new work - Tiger Lily Art Studios and Gallery. They are planning a group show at the Sexton Treasure Hammock Ranch next season.

Kirsten Kowalski will continue her photography and writing and has a new book out BECOMING HOME.

Glenda Taylor will be establishing a studio at home and will offer classes and workshops at Indian River Clay. She is represented by The Cheryl Newby Gallery and will be seeking gallery representation locally next season.

Shotsi LaJoie will continue to paint and show her work at her home and may open a public studio in the future.

Sharon Sexton has built a new studio at her ranch and will be offering small mosaic and silk painting classes there.

Julia Carter will paint at home, and you can find her work at several design markets locally.

Travis Blanton is moving her studio to Indian River Clay and plans to give a workshop or two there.

We are open by chance or appointment through March and April. You can contact them at 772-453-9049 or 772-778-3443.
I asked some of our arts leaders for updates and for their thoughts about what's happening and what the future might hold for the arts. Here are some responses - they're still coming in.
From J. Marshall Adams, executive director - Backus Museum & Gallery:

In Florida we've adapted our entire existence to the rhythm of the weather, and our cultural lives to the seasons that are most hospitable to engagement and involvement. We've geared our annual cycles to accommodate hurricanes, carefully scheduling exhibitions, events, and activities to avoid their effects as best we can. But global pandemics? Not exactly in anyone's playbook in any practical way.

This current moment is a huge challenge. The COVID-19 situation is happening in the traditional height of the winter season, the prime time for fundraising, for special events and programming. There are many organizations that had March and April fundraisers that had to be cancelled. It's the critical time of the year right now. Because of the rhythm of the weather, you can't just wait a few weeks or months and try again, you won't have the engagement you need for their success.

Creating or hosting high quality presentations or performances is expensive. Each organization has invested in their infrastructure to be able to do this - they pay professional, expert staff; for those that have physical buildings, they work to maintain them and keep the lights on; and they pay outside businesses (many of them local) for a variety of administrative and specialized services. So a massive interruption like the COVID-19 situation is going to cascade. It's not going to affect just arts lovers, the effects reverberate further than an average person might realize.

It does not feel like an exaggeration at this point to say that this is going to be a huge stress test on the very fabric of our society. Healthcare, schools, culture, we are in terra incognito on this scale. Arts and culture is going to be the weak link; advocates are fighting in Washington right now to be included in any federal relief and stimulus packages. Now is the time to call your representatives and senators and share with them the value of the nonprofits that enhance the quality of your life and do important work in our community.
From Nancy Turrell, executive director of The Arts Council of Martin County and CEO of The Arts Foundation for Martin County:

I remember the post-hurricane recovery of Frances & Jeanne in 2004. The economic hardships for our nonprofit and artist community concern me greatly. Despite this concern, I encourage every arts organization and artist to follow the guidelines that the CDC are following. 

What is the economic impact? Please send your data and stories to Americans for the Arts through this survey link:  https://surveys.americansforthearts.org/s3/CoronavirusImpactSurvey . Working with communities from across the country we will learn and be inspired by how others have triumphed and survived this crisis, as well as understand the effect on operations through the repercussion of lost wages, cancelled events and related challenges.

There are funding and grants available through a variety of venues and I am sure the list will grow. I think one of the most important things is to remember that you are not alone. We are in this together. Social media, phone calls, and emails can keep us in touch with others as we exercise social distancing to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Stay well…

From Space Coast Symphony Orchestra:

The Space Coast Symphony Orchestra's Fan Favorites concerts in Brevard and Vero have been moved to May 23-24.
Thoughts from Adam Schnell - Ballet Vero Beach:

I liken it to the following phrase I often tell students of dance, "If you care about something, then you must support it." If you have a favorite restaurant but never eat there, you can't be surprised if it closes. In these uncertain circumstances that means if you are given the option to donate the costs of tickets you are holding instead of asking for a refund, do so. If an organization is offering an alternative to coming to a venue, but you can still view their product, do it. Every little bit helps and if you do need to take a refund, be ready to come back to the organizations you care about when they are ready to have you. Barring that, we all know someone (or know someone who knows someone) that can step in and help an arts organization, business, or even individual artists get through however large this crisis turns out to be. Tough times should not break communities as strong as ours, they should knit them together. 

As far as BVB, we are in an odd position in that we are still building audiences, so we do not rely as heavily on ticket sales/admissions as others might. We have a wonderful group of donors and funders who care about getting us to the next level. However, we have no reserves to speak of so we certainly are taking CDC and WHO recommendations seriously and can only hope that when it is recommended we begin programming again that audience members feel safe enough to return with us.

Further thoughts: Honestly, it is all connected. In terms of organizations I collaborate, rescheduling our ACO performance depends not only on VBMA, ACO, and BVB schedules, but some of our dancers are coming from Miami. At least one musician was supposed to come from Connecticut. If you start to think in those terms, one tiny little cancellation in Vero is automatically affecting things around the country. Think of that on a nationwide or global scale. What about the venues themselves? Box office staff? Maintenance/facilities staff? Add to that ancillary spending at restaurants and hotels and you get a pretty grim picture. Whether folks want to believe it, the arts are like any other business and in a county like ours where we have such a rich cultural landscape, any closures or hiatus can have lasting consequences.

Ballet At The Pergola (Windsor March 26) has been postponed. I am working hard with the community of Windsor to asses if we may be able to reschedule for later this season.

Bach To Ballet (Atlantic Classical Orchestra Collaboration April 5) has been postponed. Again, I am working hard with ACO and The Vero Beach Museum of Art to find a time later in the season to bring this exciting event to life. The museum has issued a statement on this performance, and all those holding tickets should have received the message. At this point my advice is to hold on to your tickets until an official word on rescheduling comes out. Then pursue refunds and/or donating to either VBMA, ACO, or BVB. Please direct all questions regarding tickets to VBMA.

Program 3: Clarity of Vision (Our Season Finale April 17-18)At this point we have no plans to cancel our season finale performances. We will continue to monitor CDC, WHO, and Florida Department of Health recommendations as our performances draw near. Ultimately a decision to hold the performances will be made based on the health, safety, and well being of our dancers and all of you. Should cancellation become necessary, we will offer a full range of options including direct refunds of tickets purchased.

In closing, let me say that I hope we can all remain calm throughout this developing situation. We are here if you need us and hope that you will check in (by phone or email if necessary) with friends, neighbors, and the organizations/groups you care about to make sure our entire community has what each of us needs to be well. And if you do discover a need that you think we can help with, please just (let us know). 
From Vero Beach Opera:

Due to the mandatory closing of all Indian River County public schools because of the coronavirus pandemic, all performances at the Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center have been cancelled effective March 13, 2020 through March 29, 2020.
Vero Beach Opera must postpone our Rising Stars Opera Festival events (Master Class on March 24, Competition March 25 – March 26 and Concert on March 27) and will reschedule it in September or October when, hopefully, the coronavirus pandemic is over. Our Judges and Competition singers all have agreed to return for the events. 
Tickets already purchased for these events will be honored for the new dates . In the event that ticket holders are unable to attend, tickets will be reissued for another performance – opera or concert - during our 2021 Opera Season. If you have any questions, please call VBO at (772)569-6993 or email  president@verobeachopera.org and visit our website at  VeroBeachOpera.org f or updates at a later date. 
Thank you for your understanding and support during this stressful time.

From Marcos Flores at Christ by the Sea:

We have canceled our March 22, 2020 Chamber Concert and our Easter Cantata as well. We’ll also be streaming our services at Christ By The Sea starting on Sunday 3/22/20.
From Al Hager - Fort Pierce Jazz & Blues Society:

The Ft. Pierce Jazz and Blues Society events in Ft. Pierce have been cancelled but Don Bestor (president) has worked it out so the Wednesday events at the St. Lucie Botanical Gardens will continue and FDO will perform April 1, 6:30-9:00.

I'm staying open for business with my private students but let them know that if they're reluctant, they should stay home.
From Jon Putzke - Vero Beach Theatre Guild:

Based on the latest recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding COVID-19, we are  postponing  our current production of Jesus Christ Superstar, effective immediately, to a later date which we hope to announce soon. This scheduling change may also affect future performances and that remains to be determined but we will do our best to keep you updated.

Ticket holders for this show as well as subsequent shows remaining in our current season will be contacted by our box office staff during the next two to three weeks.

We appreciate your patience as we go through the process of contacting each one of you with options regarding your current ticket holdings and our rescheduling plans as they develop. However, at this time we are more concerned with the health and safety of our patrons as well as our staff, cast, crew, and amazing army of volunteers.

We wish you and your family wellness and stability during this challenging time and we look forward to entertaining you again very soon. Please check in with our website  www.verobeachtheatreguild.com  to stay updated on future events and dates at the Vero Beach Theatre Guild. Thank You for your continued understanding and support.

From the Garden Club of Indian River County:

The Garden Club of Indian River County has cancelled the Flower Show March 28th and March 29th.
Update from Vero Beach Art Club:

With the safety of our members and the greater community in mind, we also are taking this opportunity to announce the cancellation of our April General Meeting, as well as the April Gallery Stroll Exhibit. In addition, since the Vero Beach Museum of Art has cancelled all public programs and Art School Classes for the next 30 days, Open Studios are cancelled for the remainder of the season. We will send out further notifications as more information becomes available. We request your indulgence as we feel our way forward, since we are a small, charitable, non-profit organization dealing with this unprecedented crisis.

From Lila Blakeslee:

The corona virus has created a pandemic that we have never experienced. Just a few weeks ago, as my husband is facing retirement, our savings and 401K seemed solid. Now, we have the added stress of financial insecurity in addition to the worldwide economy facing incredible challenges. So, just focusing on how this affects the Arts is difficult, because it seems buried under all the immediate problems and fear people are facing. When the economy went through terrific losses and corrections (9/11 good example), it was hard to imagine recovery, but we did recover and became stronger. I hope that this is the same scenario in my lifetime. But as the Louvre closes, Eiffel Tower, Metropolitan Opera and other worldwide iconic institutions, I hope that we can solve and conquer this virus in the near future so that people can, once again feel the joy that seems missing as we isolate ourselves. Perhaps, now is time to gaze at nature's beauty...after all, that is where most art originates!

My take,
From Riverside Theatre:

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, and with the health of our patrons and artists as our highest priority, beginning March 16th all performances of La Cage aux Folles will be cancelled. All performances of Bakersfield Mist will also be cancelled, and the Celebration Gala starring Kelli O’Hara will be postponed until further notice. All classes are cancelled as well.

We ask all ticket holders to refrain from calling or emailing the Box Office with requests. The Box Office staff will contact every patron within the next week to make accommodations.

A reminder that Riverside Theatre is a not-for-profit organization and this disruption is creating uncertainty for the theatre and other cultural organizations. We ask our patrons for their patience and benevolence during this difficult time.

Thank you for your understanding and support.
From the Internet:

Arts Organizations Are Heading Into a Crisis. A Few Things Might Mitigate the Disaster.
As concert halls, theaters, and museums around the world go dark, we all need to move quickly to ensure that when it’s finally safe to emerge from our lairs, we still have a cultural life left to go back to. … Arts organizations, too, are fragile in the best of times. Small groups — string quartets, neighborhood dance schools, shoestring theater companies — operate on the thinnest of margins. … The arts are not a luxury but a public good, a boon even to those who don’t buy tickets. … 
From NPR.org:

March 13, 20205:01 AM ET

A performance of the Mozart Requiem in Washington, D.C., Bach's St. Matthew Passion in Seattle. Local jazz nights in New York City.
Then, almost at once, it seemed like the entire March calendars of musicians across the country were wiped clean. Within hours Wednesday, thousands of dollars in expected income vanished.
From ArtWalk Fort Pierce:

We are currently compiling a list of art galleries that will be open or closed for Art Walk this Friday, March 20. The list—so far—is as follows:

OPEN: Cool Beans Brew
Lisa Jill Allison Art Gallery

CLOSED: Art Connection
Christine Coastal Treasures
Galleria Paradise 
Galleria of Pierce Harbor Upstairs Community Art Gallery 
The Lindsay School of the Arts
Jackie Schindehette Art Gallery
Seriously Mixed Media
We will update this list when we receive further notifications. Any art galleries & shops not cited here are welcome to advise us of your participation. Thank you.
From LIVE! From Vero Beach:

MusicWorks have received notice from Broken Arrow , songs of Neil Young that, due to the CoronaVirus, they must reschedule their concert scheduled for March 19, 2020 at The Emerson Center in Vero Beach. In addition, Space Oddity, The Ultimate David Bowie Concert Experience, scheduled to appear on Thursday, March 26, 2020, will also be rescheduled. We expect to reschedule these concerts before the end of this year.
We ask our ticket buyers to please be patient until this health scare subsides so we can make the necessary arrangements. At that time, we will be in touch with all current ticket holders about the rescheduled dates. Thank you for your understanding.
In Memoriam -
J. Seward Johnson, Jr.
April 16, 1930 – March 10, 2020
J. Seward Johnson, Jr.,
passed away on March 10, 2020
surrounded by his family at his winter home in Key West, Florida. He was 89.
The grandson of Robert Wood Johnson, founder of Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Johnson was a sculptor of hyper-realistic figures inhabiting cities around the world, and creator of New Jersey's Grounds For Sculpture and the Johnson Atelier. 
At the age of 38, Seward Johnson had been a painter when his wife, Cecelia Joyce Johnson, noticed that he had a mechanical aptitude and encouraged him to try sculpture.
Less than a year later, Johnson won the top prize at the Design in Steel Awards.

J. Seward Johnson, Jr. who resided in Hopewell, New Jersey; Nantucket, MA; New York City, and Key West, Florida, is survived by his wife Cecelia Joyce;
his son, John, and his wife, Susan;
his daughter, India, and her husband Eliot, and five grandchildren.

More from Lila:

We are facing a new normal...not sure what it will be. Just hope that we can get back to the theaters, concerts, museums, events, etc. that we love so much. One of my Xmas presents was tickets to “Come from Away” at the Kravis Center next month. Paul & I were one of the thousands that experienced 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland that the show is based on! Sure hope we can see it!

Gallery 14 will still have an April Guest artist, Susan Martin, that paints exquisite, realistic botanicals. Beth-Anne Fairchild and I might just stay open on April 3 & see if anyone shows up after 5:00, but know that we don’t expect much. Yesterday, Gallery 14 had three nice sales with our current exhibit. There were several people that came by the gallery & expressed their disappointment that UtO was cancelled. Many visitors were in town precisely for that show. There isn’t anything left for visitors or residents to do, but shop. So, will keep the gallery open and hope for continued sales. 
Ideas and Inspiration

In case you missed it:
are offering a free concert and the Seattle Symphony (find it on Facebook) and The Metropolitan Opera are streaming.

With the closing of libraries, check for online borrowing. Stuck at home and have a library card? Check out some of the library's online resources and databases. You can learn a new skill on Lynda or get extra academic help for your child via Khan Academy! 
All of our resources are available on our website:  https://www.martin.fl.us/martin-…/databases-online-resources

Listen to the Cultural Council of Indian River County's Cultural Connection with Willi Miller - at 5 p.m. Mondays on the Treasure Coast on WAXE 1370 AM and 107.9 FM and www.waxe1370.com. 
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As always, For Helen Miller 
Listen to the Cultural Council of Indian River County's Cultural Connection with Willi Miller - at 5 p.m. Mondays on the Treasure Coast on WAXE 1370 AM and 107.9 FM and www.waxe1370.com. 
Information is to be received in an email at least one week before publication.

Use this format:
Who (organization)
What (Event)
When (dates, time)
Where (Name of venue, address)
Why (a brief description of the purpose)
Web address
Contact for public (for tickets, questions, etc.)
Then add a short, descriptive release if available.
Send only one photo, with caption, until more are requested.
Media contact with email for my followup (not for publication)
Here's a suggestion for uploading information to calendars that allow you to input your own events.
In the body of the listing, sometimes called Description , make sure to include all dates in each upload. For example: Performances are on March 12-31; or the exhibit is open March 12, 14, 15, and 17. That information should be in all dates you post individually.

If you are a member of the  Cultural Council of Indian River County , you need this information:

IMPORTANT: In order to promote your events as a member of the Cultural Council, you must enter your event on the CCIRC calendar via this link:  https://www.calendarwiz.com/culturalcouncil and click on "Submit your event"
The deadline is MONDAY - 10 days prior to the Wednesday publication.
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