Swinging Bridge Magazine: March 2021

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felt the hardships of COVID-19, and while that is true, some professions have more resources to deal with the difficulties than others.

Starting the conversation of how sports and arts can be treated equally has already been fruitful for the dancers at Messiah.

Money is a huge factor that determines whether or not sports or the arts can continue during the pandemic.

Messiah has been able to develop adjusted guidelines for the artists on campus. By working with Roberson and other faculty, safe changes have been made to the way dancers perform.

“There are funding differences that make the one possible and the other not,” Roberson said. “The arts generate a lot of money for the economy, but it’s not as visible as with sporting events. One of the reasons [professional] sports have continued is because of how much money is visibly at stake there.” NFL players make an average of $860,000 per year. Broadway dancers make an average of around $64,000 per year. There is a significant difference in financial equality for athletes and performing artists. Artists need support right now in order to continue their careers. Providing support for artists will benefit their personal livelihoods as well as the spirit of society.

“The students had some requests and we were able to find a way to honor those requests safely,” Roberson said. Other students can start by supporting artists just as much as they support sports teams. Theatre and dance can be equally entertaining as sporting events. “Support us by going to see a show and trying it out,” Sauder said. “People should not be afraid to ask questions and also don’t be afraid to show up to performances.” Let us continue addressing how Messiah and beyond can equally support arts and athletics.