By Joshua Ortega
Artists are adapting to social distancing guidelines while still remaining close to supporters in North Central Phoenix and around the Valley.
Regardless of the medium, these creative people have figured out how to continue teaching and entertaining their neighbors. From the Phoenix Art Museum to The Nash, artists are venturing online to bring their craft to people’s living rooms, most of the time without revenue.
“If people make a small investment now, it helps to make sure we have these institutions forever,” Nikki DeLeon-Martin said.
DeLeon-Martin, chief marketing and external affairs officer for the Phoenix Art Museum, added that arts and cultural hubs remain dedicated to fulfilling their promise of serving the community through these difficult times.
The Phoenix Art Museum provides a weekly Virtual Visit email that showcases all of the online exhibits people can indulge in through their computers or other devices.
They also provide special Zoom meetings for members age 65 years old and up to have coffee and talk about art with fellow patrons. To learn more, visit phxart.org.
Online meetings have helped organizations, such as Rosie’s House, transition to teaching music for free to children from low-income families.
“Another challenge has just been how to quickly respond with a lack of a lot of information as to how long we’d be in quarantine,” said Becky Ballard, CEO of Rosie’s House.
While there are challenges with teaching children online how to play music, the music academy remains proactive in their decision-making process. For 24 years, the school has remained dedicated to helping its community with needs including finding food resources for families and offering college readiness programs for high school seniors.
“We’re hopeful to continue our programming, support our community and change the trajectory of a child’s life through the power of music education,” Ballard said.
Learn more about Rosie’s House at rosieshouse.org.
The sense of community that music creates also has been what holds it together, especially for a genre like jazz.
“One of our strengths is the intimacy of the venue, the closeness of the audience and the musicians, and the interaction,” said Joel Goldenthal, executive director of The Nash.
To continue serving their constituents, “The Nash at Home” was born, which includes two programs that bring the experience of The Nash directly to fans. The “One More Time” series showcases a collection of archive recorded concerts from more than two years of performances at the jazz club, including drummer Jimmy Cobb.
“Get Jazz Smart” is a 90-minute interactive Zoom lecture taught by an Arizona State University Jazz Studies professor that encourages dialogue about the history of the genre.
These online platforms add to the history of the jazz community in the desert that’s existed since 1977 with the inception of Jazz in Arizona.
“What we do is not only important through this crisis, but it’ll be more important than ever when we emerge from it,” Goldenthal said.
To learn more about The Nash’s offerings, visit thenash.org.