Art in Times of Crisis

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Image from Unsplash.

I’m sure one thing that everyone reading this can agree on is that they are scared to check the screen time stats on their phone since the onset of COVID-19. We sink hours upon hours into online media of all different shapes and sizes, and time goes by in the blink of an eye. The days all start to blend together as you binge show after show. But let it be known that in times of crisis such as this, art and purposeful media are essential.

Honestly, the best part of quarantine was watching movies and shows that I wouldn’t have had the time for otherwise. For example, do you really think “Tiger King” would have been as big of a deal if it wasn’t for COVID-19? Streaming platforms are booming more than ever, and despite Netflix raising their price, consumers still can’t get enough. In reality, what would they do without it?  

Celebrities and artists have found themselves in the same position as us – looking for ways to pass time and consuming content while in the comfort of their own home. And it’s that very commonality that presents the reason for why, in times of crisis, art is so important. No matter who you are or what you know, art and its subjectivity gives us the opportunity to extract powerful and purposeful meaning

For instance, Spray KC, American Shaman and Block and Company – all local arts organizations located in Kansas City – have designated the Plaza Medical Building as a collaborative mural project to celebrate the uniqueness and beauty of Kansas City. 

 In an interview with The Pitch, CBD American CEO Vince Sanders comments on the mural and the relationship between art and change in Kansas City.

 “Our focus is to bring artists, who are obviously incredibly talented, that also understand what we’re trying to do and can make an impact,” said Sanders. “With everything that’s been going on social justice wise, climate change, etc., to be able to do a piece like this on the plaza, facing Mill Creek Parkway of all places, is a gift.” 

We can also see social commentary and advocacy through online art. It is heartwarming to see celebrities’ efforts to utilize their platforms to advocate for the greater good. If you go on any social media platform you’ll see examples of maintaining social distancing guidelines while wearing a mask. 

However, this goes both ways, the younger generations are just as likely to be inspired by bad examples too. Tik Tok influencers have been seen having parties without being mindful of the global pandemic. Tik Tok’s viewers are primarily young impressionable children, taking away from the efforts of the celebrities and influencers positively using their platform to promote the proper guidelines. 

Unity is what we need the most right now, and art – and the various methods technology has allowed us to consume it – is the best way to achieve that going forward.

Trent Brink

Trent Brink is the page editor for Sports on The Hilltop Monitor. He is a sophomore majoring in business administration.

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