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Supporting The Arts During The Coronavirus Crisis

The Jacksonville Symphony's Performance Space at the  Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts
Jacksonville Symphony
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

One segment of the economy that’s been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis is the arts.


Joy Young, CEO of the, appeared on Tuesday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross. 


“In our best times, we're adding over $85 million to our economy, employing more than 2,000 people - really adding vibrancy to our lives here in Jacksonville. But because our doors are closed and because we are practicing social distancing, we are lacking in ticket revenue; we’re lacking in concession sales; we’re lacking in tuition. We are lacking in so many areas, and we need our public to stay involved and stay engaged.” 


Young added that individuals can continue to support their favorite artists and cultural institutions while practicing social distancing, and cited a few examples of how to do so virtually.


She started with the Council’s new public Facebook group, #ARTconnectsJAX, noting that its purpose is to support new work, and to encourage, educate and entertain and to bring hope and healing at a time when we need it most.


Ross noted that WJCT's Jax Arts Facebook group, a virtual gathering place for the arts and cultural community of Northeast Florida, also complements the Council's group.


Some of the other examples Young shared included:


  • Thehas been putting song lyrics on it’s marquee, which you can view on the theatre'ssocial media channels.

  • Theis broadcasting performances of it’s smaller ensembles on itsFacebook pageorYouTube Channeland also sharing some of its greatest performances on its website.


  • is working on virtual resources, including ones for children, such as daily art activities for children, classes for adults, artist spotlights, Q&As, exhibition highlights, video and more for people to enjoy.  


  • The Beaches Museumwill be posting pictures from its archives along with pre-recorded Boardwalk Talks, current art and more soon. 


  • plans to showcase each of its members who are visual artists. These showcases will be on their website andFacebook pageevery day, and will include contact info and links to the artists’ websites and social media. 


  • provides poetry for at-risk youth in North Florida, and is working on an online platform.

Individuals can visit the Council’s new websiteand click on give/donateto lend your financial contributions to the arts in Jacksonville. 

Heather Schatz can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @heatherschatz.

Copyright 2020 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit .

Heather is joining WJCT as the new producer of First Coast Connect.