October is Hillsboro Arts Month and as we all stayed home to save lives this year, music, movies, books, and binge-watching television shows became an even larger part of our lives. But as we safely hunkered down, actors, authors, musicians, and muralists struggled for their economic survival. Many artists are part of the “gig economy” with income that is dependent on being hired to play music in restaurants or at public events. Visual artists lost sales from galleries, art festivals, and show openings. And most arts and cultural organizations planned and rehearsed for months for spring and summer shows that were cancelled. It’s estimated that in Oregon, cultural organizations lost over $40 million dollars by the end of June.
There has been a lot of focus, rightly, on essential services recently. But as the scope of our lives has narrowed, it has brought the power of the arts into sharper focus for many. Music makes our hearts sing in a way that is almost primitive. Enjoying a theatrical production or a good book can transport us from our daily life, challenge us to look at an issue with new perspective, or give us the opportunity to escape. Whether we are a viewer or a maker, visual arts provide new vistas and opportunities to take part in a creative dialogue. Participating in creative expression reduces stress, promotes connection with family and friends, and creates understanding and empathy—something we can all use more of right now.
If you enjoy living in a city with galleries, theaters, chorale groups, orchestras, dance companies, and cultural celebrations take the 2020 Arts Month Challenge and support them today. Additionally, consider matching your donations to the Oregon Cultural Trust and donating the Hillsboro Arts & Culture Endowment Fund to maximize your charitable impact. These cultural entities have been here for us for years, now it’s our opportunity to be here for them.
Support these Hillsboro based arts and cultural organizations: