Swinging Bridge Magazine: March 2021

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“There is no guarantee that we’ll ever return to what we had before the pandaemic. I grieve for that, I do.”

Sports have found a way to safely continue to thrive during the pandemic despite all the setbacks from the previous year. Now the question is, why have the arts not? Arts at Messiah and in society as a whole have been stifled and limited throughout the whole pandemic. Sports have had greater freedoms at university and professional levels. In February, the Super Bowl was held with 25,000 fans in attendance. The NFL and NBA have found ways to continue pro sports in ways not available to others. While sports have been able to have live games with spectators, Broadway has been shut down since March of 2020. Professional dance companies have had to make budget cuts and layoff artists. Live theatre has come to a stand still and re-opening in the near futures seems unlikely. Richard Roberson, the dean of the school of the arts, has seen how hard the pandemic has hit artists.

“Anything that involved having a live audience has been shut down by the pandemic, which is an enormous loss,” Roberson said. “There is no guarantee that we’ll ever return to what we had before the pandemic. I grieve for that, I do.” The lack of art in society can have a detrimental effect on people’s mental health, especially during a difficult time like this. Artists have struggled with the inability to create and perform in front of others. “I’m a firm believer that art is an expression form for the culture,” Sauder said. “Currently, we’re not allowing most of the arts to express themselves and let other people view that as an outlet. I feel like the morale of society is being decreased by the lack of art that is being presented or created.” Roberson has seen young graduates ready to begin working professionally but are unable to because the arts are not moving forward. He compared artists to restaurants; both have been really financially hurt by the pandemic. Some may say that everyone has personally


MARCH 2021