Janet Kopenhaver is founder and president of Embracing Arlington Arts.

Our region’s health-care providers, doctors, first responders and others on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus should be applauded for keeping us healthy and treating those who are sick. We wholeheartedly thank them for their service and protection.

Also, during this time of crisis, our souls and emotional well-being are at risk. For that reason, we should also acknowledge the many performing arts organizations, music groups and visual art galleries that are “keeping the lights on” during this shutdown while struggling with outstanding bills, the unthinkable reality of laying off many of their staff members, actors and contractors, canceling performances that many had already worked weeks and months on and facing a very uncertain future. According to a survey undertaken by Americans for the Arts, the estimated total economic impact on the arts and cultural sector is more than $4.5 billion. This number grows each day.

Using their biggest asset — creativity — theaters, musicians and art galleries throughout the region have found numerous ways of providing much-needed entertainment options as we are hunkering in place in our homes. This situation brings new meaning to a famous saying by renowned dancer Twyla Tharp: “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.”

From theater productions to dances to concerts to gallery tours to art classes, our craving for brain stimulation is readily available online because of the ingenuity of our arts and culture organizations. They are making these events available (most free or at very low prices) because these groups know their offerings are a vital component of our healing and coping process. And for that we say “thank you.”

If you are interested in checking out what online productions are available, two sites to visit are Goldstar and TodayTix. D.C. Metro Theater Arts and D.C. Theatre Scene also are trying to keep a running list of live-streaming productions (a herculean task). Finally, Embracing Arlington Arts is offering a continually evolving list of Arlington productions on our website’s calendar page. Are you holding tickets to a canceled show? On behalf of all arts organizations in the area, we ask that you donate the ticket price back to the venue to help it overcome this financial catastrophe impacting arts organizations right now.

To all those working in or associated with the arts and culture world, we offer another famous quote, from American composer Stephen Sondheim, “Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.” We know that arts and culture will heal our communities, bring us together (even in virtual settings), make us whole and be part of the solution when our nation gets on the other side of this crisis.

We can’t wait to see everyone at the next performing arts production, concert or art gallery opening.

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