By Taylor Vranish
Over the course of the last few months COVID-19 plagued our world, spreading far and fast. People across the world, all ages and walks of life have been affected by this daunting virus. Out all of the places in the world, larger cities have been hit the hardest and most extreme.
Because of the population ratio, people who live in larger cities do not have the luxury to be spread out or to effectively quarantine in the ways in which other states can. As stated in the New York Times by authors Sabrina Tavernise and Sarah Mervosh, “The pandemic has been particularly devastating to America’s biggest cities, as the virus has found fertile ground in the density that is otherwise prized And it comes as the country’s major urban centers were already losing their appeal for many Americans, as skyrocketing rents and changes in the labor market have pushed the country’s youngest adults to suburbs and smaller cities often far from the coasts.” Many young adults simply cannot afford the prices in big cities in recent times, especially young adults working in the arts.
While places like NYC and LA were once the epicenter for young creatives, nowadays young creatives are being forced to move elsewhere. As reported on artsy.net, “the emergency relief fund Artist Relief has released findings from its new survey assessing how artists are impacted by COVID-19, and the results paint a bleak picture, with 95 percent of respondents reporting loss of income due to the pandemic”. These striking numbers have affected the lives of millions of creatives.
Painters, photographers, musicians, actors, models etc are all completely out of their typical working life routines due to the pandemic. “For musicians, the evaporation of live performance has been both a financial hazard and a creative frustration”, states New York Times writers Sisario and Russonello. Passionate artists are now forced to find new and creative ways to do the things they love, which may mean for now making things virtual. But how do they get paid for virtual work? How do they maintain a sense of community? How do they continue to create without income? These questions are just some of the many that our world is being presented with in terms of how COVID is affecting the people and things that we love.
A large majority of working artists typically have side jobs in order to be able to pay their bills. Usually, these side jobs are in the service industry. The service industry allows for young artists to focus on their art of choice during the day time and work at night for extra income. With the intensity of the pandemic, multiple restaurants, bars and clubs were forced to shut down which ultimately leads to young and upcoming artists being completely out of work. “Now, as local leaders contemplate how to reopen, the future of life in America’s biggest, most dense cities is unclear”, says Sabrina Tavenise and Mervosh, writer for the New York Times.
Throughout history big events such as famine and war have changed the courses of our lives as we know them. Will COVID be something that changes our lives forever? Or will we be able to get back to some sense of normalcy? We are living in a surreal time in our world's history but there is always still hope. “The arts have always brought us together. Artists continue to innovate in the face of recent challenges and inspire the world around them to find new ways of connecting” states artworkarchive.com. Art has been a part of the world's history since the beginning of time and it is something that will continue to thrive regardless of the state of the world. If you have the means to support local artists at this time, please do!