SpotOn News – Special Edition

Is This the Time for Art? Chicago’s Art Scene Reacts to the COVID-19 Reality   April 5. It has been two weeks since Governor Pritzker ordered most Illinoisans to stay at home. It feels as if our prior world was a long, long time ago. At SpotOnChicago we’re thinking of those who have been infected by this virus and those whose families have suffered. We’re also thinking of the healthcare workers and first responders who are saving lives, as well as the retail workers, restaurant staff, and the other front-line individuals who provide society with some semblance of normalcy. They are called the “new heroes” and indeed they are. What We Have Done at SpotOnChicago:
    • We have created new pages highlighting some of the great art institutions (large and small) that make Chicago a great place to live. We have included links to their sites and to their appeals for financial help. It is clear that some institutions and businesses will not survive this shutdown. If you can, when you can, please consider a donation. Many continue to pay their staff. Many have been in operation for decades and their legacy depends on our continued support. We will be adding more pages to highlight these institutions in the coming days.
    • We have begun covering virtual events. Our menu bar includes a link to Virtual events where you can find streaming, live, or pre-recorded events of all kinds. Some of the arts lend themselves to the streaming format. Lectures, talks, music, and film are not strangers to this format. Other institutions, notably local galleries and local stage theatre companies are looking at their options in order to keep their “doors” open. We monitor over 700 institutions in Chicagoland, and we will keep you informed of their efforts and offerings. Our efforts were recently highlighted on ABC 7 Chicago and in Politico's Illinois Playbook by Shia Kapos.
    • We have expanded the types of events we cover. For example, we have a link to online meditation and yoga classes. We also have links to a cooking class, to children’s theatre, and to offerings from outside the Chicago area. While this differs from our original intent for the site, we feel this is not the time to quibble. We need to stay connected.
    • We ask for your help. If you hear of an event that might interest others, please drop us a line here. “Local” events are not local anymore, they can keep all of us informed, enlightened, and perhaps safer.
  • Finally, we hope you will be inspired by what Chicago artists have already created. Highlights of those events include:
A series of booktalks from the American Writers Museum; A series of interviews with artists by Hilton | Asmus Contemporary; A series of lectures by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; A listing of Livestream Events by Evanston’s SPACE; A weekly offering of concerts from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s archives; And the list goes on…here   Is This the Time for Art? We refer you to the 1983 film The Dresser with Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay. The movie dealt with the relationship between the leader of a theatre troupe and his personal assistant – his dresser. Set in England during the blitz of World War II, the troupe travels throughout the U.K. putting on productions of Shakespeare while battling shortages of everything from actors to makeup to intact theatres. Should Shakespeare be staged while bombs are falling?  In a telling scene, the aging leader of the troupe sees a man on the street who is dazed at the sight of his recently bombed flat. He offers the victim tickets to the theatre saying, “I trust you will find comfort there.” Art can comfort. When we say the “show must go on,” what we’re really saying is that we cannot give up on what means the most to us– our families, our neighbors, and our passions in and for life. Below you will find some of the events we have recently added to our site. We invite you to look at those events on our Virtual category page. The hard work and dedication of those who have staged these events is truly admirable.   Recent Virtual Events:
Opening Event Link
3/20 Creating Music Amid Despair - Music of the Holocaust Virtual
3/20 The Commons Online – the Museum of Contemporary Art Virtual
3/22 SPACE'S Livestream Listings Virtual
3/25 Bacurau - Virtual "Film" Theatre from Music Box Theatre Virtual
3/25 The iO Comedy Network Virtual
3/26 Methtacular! By Steven Strafford - Streaming Virtual
3/27 Teenage Dick by Mike Lew - Online Virtual
3/28 Don't Tell Comedy Live(ish) Virtual
3/29 The Infinite Wrench Goes Viral Virtual
3/30 Lyric Opera Commentaries - Online Virtual
4/1 Kill Move Paradise by James Ijames (Remote) Virtual
4/1 Arts for Illinois Virtual
4/1 Jazz at Lincoln Center Virtual
4/1 Goodman Theatre's 2666 - Streaming & Free Virtual
4/2 National Theatre At Home (Thursdays) Virtual
4/3 The Wilmette Theatre - Online Streaming Virtual
4/3 Virtual Comedysportz - Friday & Saturday Nights Virtual
4/3 The Show Must Go On - Andrew Lloyd Weber Virtual
4/3 COVID-19 and the Essentials of Crisis Management Virtual
4/4 Architecture Essentials - Two Dates - Online Virtual
4/4 Gerber/Hart Library and Archives - Virtual Resources Virtual
4/6 The Downtown Seder 2020 - Online Virtual
4/7 Gray Sound Sessions 1: Full Pink Moon Virtual
4/7 CSO Radio Broadcast with WFMT Virtual
4/7 Arica Hilton in Conversation - Yarrow, Metzner, and Watson Virtual
4/8 Virtual Vino Veritas - (Storytelling) - Two Dates Virtual
4/9 Lecture Series: Physics & Contemporary Architecture Virtual
4/14 Ngozi Ukazu - Live Webinar - Am. Writers Museum Virtual
4/16 Terrence McNally's Mothers and Sons - Live Virtual Reading Virtual
4/28 Streaming: From Islam to Oil: Inside Saudi Arabia's Influence Virtual