Support Local Art and Culture!

Finger Lakes Boating Museum in Hammondsport. Photo by Cindy Ruggieri
by Arleigh Rodgers

Life in the Finger Lakes has been keeping up with its business partners with updates on its website, including information on food and beverage, everyday services, accommodations and entertainment, as a few examples. A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on how we, as consumers, could help our finger lakes region out over the next few weeks.

At the time I wrote that piece, I was well into my second week of spring break, an extended version of our original week off from school. I had just recently learned that I would not be returning to my home in Ithaca to continue classes for the remainder of the semester in person. On my social media, much of the conversation about the surrounding weeks was panicked and nervous, and I felt myself playing into that.

By writing that article on how to support local restaurants, within the Finger Lakes Region or any region, it helped bring me some peace of mind — as did my most recent article on spending time outside if you’re going stir crazy.

In this article, I want to highlight another part of our communities that are likely suffering in the face of this pandemic: arts and culture. In the article “More Updates and Announcements From Our Business Partners” from Life in the Finger Lakes, a number of culture and entertainment sites have temporarily closed. Museums have disbanded their tours, programs, and gatherings, and historical societies or arts centers have shut their doors until further notice.

Like restaurants, these temporary closures are necessary to flattening the curve, or slowing the spread of the coronavirus and reducing stress on our healthcare system. Unlike the restaurants, however, most of these sites have closed with little exceptions. While restaurants may leave their doors open for takeout and pickup, historical societies, museums and artspaces are looking to be creative in how they are generating funds through an online process.

Like restaurants, there are steps we can take to support our local artists and art spaces. At most places, donations will be accepted. This is similar to buying gift cards at your favorite restaurant for a future use. You can also support local smaller artists by streaming their music on spotify, sharing their songs on your social media, and buying their albums from Apple Music.

While these may be small acts, we can come together and lift up our community!

Arleigh Rodgers is a junior English major at Ithaca College. She is currently the assistant Life & Culture editor at The Ithacan, Ithaca College's student-run newspaper. She enjoys reading, playing the piano and visiting the Ithaca Farmer's Market every weekend.

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