The COVID-19 pandemic rolled into 2020 as a silent tsunami that hit in mid-March with devastating force and impact. One weekend there was a nervous normalcy across the city; the next, every stage and theater and gallery was dark. And they would largely stay that way for the rest of the year and into 2021.
There was economic devastation for many artists and arts organizations. Just as great was the emotional toil of not being able to show art, or experience art, or even gather with friends and loved ones.
On top of that, the pandemic also came with unprecedented political turmoil and societal change, along with a deep grief of loss. And there was the unease of trying to come to understand the things we once considered normal will never be quite as normal again.
But we also came together in this time of uncertainty and need, pitched in to help each other in ways large and small. We began to innovate, to figure new ways of creating and delivering our art. Many of us took the time to evaluate our lives, and to re-evaluate what truly matters. It was an agonizing reappraisal, to quote Dusty Rhodes, but a necessary one that will serve us well as we begin to explore a post-pandemic world.
We are still in a shifting landscape. It will take years and plenty of perspective before we can understand the true impact of the pandemic. But for now, we take an immediate look back at the world of the arts in Atlanta in 2020, the year of the pandemic:
ART + DESIGN: A season of making due, making new and reinvention
IN OUR OWN WORDS: The anger, wisdom and hope of 2020