In response to the closures of its facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Scottsdale Arts has launched a series of new virtual arts programming via its website, ScottsdaleArts.org, and the websites for its four branches.
Recognizing that many of its patrons and other arts lovers are now spending more time using web-based platforms to view paintings, listen to music, explore photography and experience stories, Scottsdale Arts and its team of curators, performing arts programmers, public art managers, and arts learning facilitators have developed a new arts-based blogging initiative called Scottsdale Arts Connections.
“When, as humans, we are faced with crisis and catastrophe, we must turn inward and find resolve,” says Dr. Gerd Wuestemann, president and CEO of Scottsdale Arts. “We have a choice to make: Do we panic and fend only for ourselves, or do we find a deeper level of compassion, care more honestly for others and reflect on our fellow human beings? Most of us have lived lives relatively free from major crises, and I believe that this moment prompts us to think about how incredibly connected we all are around this globe — how extraordinarily similar our basic needs are.”
Like Scottsdale Arts itself, Connections comprises four unique blogs for each of its four branches. The blogs introduce a variety of content that will include video conversations with artists, virtual exhibitions, artistic resource lists and more.
Amplify is the blog for Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. It is designed to form connections with local performing artists and nationally touring performers who have appeared at the Center. It will also promote new endeavors like the Virtual Scottsdale Arts Festival, which launched on April 2 after the physical festival in March was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) programs the Inspire blog, which cultivates a space that inspires dialogue about contemporary art through curated conversations. It will also offer artistic how-tos, in-depth looks at SMoCA’s collection and other virtual experiences.
The Immerse blog from Scottsdale Public Art continues the organization’s mission to contribute to the community’s creative, cultural and economic vitality. Visitors will experience online exhibitions, digital journeys through the city of Scottsdale’s Public Art Collection and conversations with public artists and those who work behind the scenes at events like Canal Convergence.
Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation uses its Spark blog to promote mental, physical and social well-being for all ages. Its blog offers online resources for arts educators and examines new movements that have sprouted from the pandemic, like #ChalkYourWalk. It will also promote the launch of Scottsdale Arts’ first fully online exhibition, “Scottsdale Sister Cities Association: Young Artists and Authors Showcase.”
“The arts are critical in a time like this,” Wuestemann says. “It is through this higher form of expression that we rise above, develop a deeper connection to our community and communities around the globe, ask how we can do more for others and find both enlightenment and solace for ourselves. At Scottsdale Arts we are committed to bringing our community and our world closer together through Connections. We hope this program will inspire you, bring you comfort and perhaps make you smile a little in this difficult time.”
The blogs for each branch of Scottsdale Arts will be collected as Scottsdale Arts Connections on the organization’s primary website at ScottsdaleArts.org/connections.