Dear Marin Arts Lovers,
How are the arts in Marin doing during this challenging time? We still find ourselves deep in the throes of a global pandemic. We’re experiencing a massive outcry over racial inequality and police brutality. We still don’t know what the state of the world will look like when the dust settles on these historical events. During these difficult times, however, UPTAKE can report that the arts – making, viewing, and sharing – sustained us.
Visual arts viewing nurtures our spirits. The Seager Gray Gallery installed an exhibition inspired by a quote by Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden. The nature-inspired artworks were curated to reflect our relationship with the local environment while we shelter in place. The Q&A with the gallerists also reveals the ways in which email and social media help provide context to sustain the connection between art and audience.
Artmaking activities help online educators keep kids interested and united. Marin’s arts educators pivoted during shelter-in-place order. Kate Fitzimmons interviewed teachers and an education non-profit about art projects that help kids stay engaged with learning and each other.
A special book group fosters a strong feeling of connection around racial identity. Paula Farmer shares her experience starting and participating in Marin’s first Well-Read Black Girls Book Club. Her story includes her perspective as both a woman of color in Marin and a book industry insider.
Book groups bind individuals into communities while home alone. Paula Farmer also reports how the pandemic moved book groups and author events to the online formats, and how local book clubs, libraries, and book stores help foster connections.
Great musicians help us celebrate where we live (within walkable neighborhoods, of course). It’s fun to hear well-known musicians celebrate this place we call home – from the hip vibe of the houseboats and the glory of the Golden Gate to the hippie culture of Western Marin and the cool girls who live in the Redwoods. Zack Ruskin’s cheeky exploration of songs that name drop Marin County reflects on the place we call home.
During downtime, our imagination envisions our future. While Burning Man announced that Black Rock City would be virtual for 2020, they extended the submission deadline for a design competition aimed at turning their Nevada Fly Ranch into a model for post-carbon sustainable living.
Thanks for reading.
Pamela Coddington is a writer and editor. Full disclosure: She is a big supporter of the arts in Marin County and has done work with Youth in Arts, Image Flow Photography Center, di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Smith Andersen North, and Headlands Center for the Arts. Pamela is a graduate of New York University with a B.A. in Art History, and holds a post-baccalaureate degree in writing from U.C. Berkeley. Pamela lives and works in San Rafael with her family.