People can’t fill theater seats right now. They can’t wander through an art gallery or take an acting class or attend a community opera lecture.
That’s not good for local arts groups that rely on attendance — along with donations — to pay their bills.
It’s also not good for the people who love them. In troubling times, we need to experience the beauty of ballet and ponder the meaning of an abstract painting.
Local arts groups are working to fill the void, raise revenue and remain relevant, offering numerous ways patrons can safely enjoy and support their favorite Omaha artists.
>> Archived recordings of classic Omaha Symphony concerts now are online along with educational videos for students, teachers and families. The symphony is also posting fun social media content from symphony musicians at omahasymphony.org.
It’s all part of a new digital initiative, Omaha Symphony Anywhere, which includes the return of “In Concert With the Omaha Symphony,” a weekly show on KVNO Classical 90.7 FM. The broadcast will air from 1 to 3 p.m. each Sunday, starting this week with a program from Sept. 21, 2018, that features works by Ludwig von Beethoven and Leonard Bernstein.
Short Omaha Symphony pieces are featured on KVNO at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday on “Symphonic Sunrise.”
>> The Omaha Community Playhouse is offering classic performances and Henry Fonda Theatre Academy classes online.
The streaming premiere for “Recommended Reading for Girls” by local playwright Ellen Struve is at 7:30 p.m. Friday. It’s a video from the play’s world premiere at the Playhouse in April 2013.
The plot centers on Amy, a woman who encounters uninvited guests from her favorite childhood novels when she returns home to care for her ailing mother. They create chaos, but they also help Amy deal with some issues.
A second play, “Eminent Domain” by Omahan Laura Leininger-Campbell, had its online premiere April 17 and is also available for streaming.
Streaming for both plays is free, but Campbell encourages donations to the Playhouse, the Shelterbelt Theatre (where the plays were workshopped) or the Great Plains Theatre Conference.
You can still register your kids for summer camps at the Playhouse website. They may be virtual depending on current coronavirus guidelines.
>> Opera Omaha has a series of interactive “Creativity Prompts” on its website. Participants in the Holland Community Opera Fellowship program lead viewers through artistic activities using Google Arts and Culture. They also have links to various Opera Omaha videos on YouTube featuring artists talking about previous productions and more. And they’re encouraging people to start social media dialogues.
>> Nebraska Shakespeare has several ways people can engage with old Will, even though Shakespeare on the Green is canceled this year.
The troupe still is sponsoring the Anne Dittrick Sonnet Contest and offering a tutorial for Talk Like Shakespeare Day on Thursday, although many of us may have to speak the archaic dialect to ourselves.
Registration is open for the annual kids’ Camp Shakespeare, which may be held online this year. Visit nebraskashakespeare.com.
>> You can immerse yourself in art daily with virtual activities at Joslyn Art Museum, though it’s closed through May 31.
Paintings, sculptures and other pieces in its permanent collections are on display in virtual gallery talks on Facebook and YouTube.
Toddlers can participate in Art Adventures LIVE! at 10:30 a.m. each Friday through May.
There are short courses, curator talks and hashtag conversations centered on #WomensHistoryMonth, #MuseumFromHome and #MuseumMomentsofzen.
Children can participate in virtual camps starting in June and, in the meantime, families can get in the spirit with interactive projects such as a sketch for the camp T-shirt. Your design might win.
Visit joslyn.org for all of this and more.