Irish Examiner View: Coronavirus shows value of art and why we need to rebuild the creative sector

The pandemic has put many human relationships on hold, in a physical, hug-and-warmth sense at least.
Irish Examiner View: Coronavirus shows value of art and why we need to rebuild the creative sector
Empty theatre seats. Those who depend on live performances for their living are especially hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic has put many human relationships on hold, in a physical, hug-and-warmth sense at least.

Ever-advancing technologies have kept the door slightly ajar but, despite the best will in the world, a screen hug cannot usurp the inner glow or conviviality of meeting those who enrich our lives.

The pandemic has also underlined and, in many cases, renewed old relationships that may have been nudged aside.

One of the gifts, there are a few, of Covid-19 is that it has encouraged many of us to dust off and reread books that were influential and are still important.

That same principle applies to music and especially film, as most of us now live in our own cinema. But in another of life’s chastening ironies, just as many of us were revisiting old treasures today’s artists, the makers of those treasures, are struggling with the virus fall-out.

Those who depend on live performances for their living are especially hard hit. That they have no real idea when they might perform publically again must add to their stress.

The National Campaign for the Arts has published proposals on how the sector might be rejuvenated post-pandemic.

There might be some minor quibbling about details but the overall ambition must be enthusiastically supported even if the demands on the public purse will be unprecedented.

The isolation of recent weeks has shown the arts, high or low, exquisite or modest, have a value far beyond anything captured on a balance sheet.

Let’s recognise that in a real way.

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