On Thursday, WGBH arts editor Jared Bowen called in to Boston Public Radio to paint a stark picture of how Boston’s art scene has suffered in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Essentially everything is closed,” he said. "There [are] still public memorials of course, there is still public art … to the extent that it’s safe and possible to move around and experience those pieces of art, I think those are really the only open public options at this point.”
Bowen described severe financial fallout for Boston theater workers, most of whom are independent contractors who no longer have a source of revenue.
“All anticipated income for these independent contractors [was] suddenly canceled, with no idea of when [projects are] going to resurface,¨he said. ¨Because they’re independent contractors, they therefore have no access to unemployment benefits. It’s brutal."
He also had some suggestions for those looking to support local theater workers during the outbreak.
“If you have tickets for a performance that was canceled, you could consider turning that into a donation and not asking for a refund, because that allows theaters to just have at least some sort of cash flow,” he said. "Theaters operate on such slim profit margins that without money coming in, very quickly there isn’t going to be money going out for the theaters that do want to be able to pay their employees."