The Covid-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges for the Hillsborough Arts Council. We're in an unusual time that has left us with more questions than answers. Unfortunately, the HAC, has had close its doors and put the brakes on nearly all we do. When we most want to gather and celebrate, we have to quietly pause. But it is only that, a pause. Art, no matter the circumstances, continues in some way. Whether visible to the public or not, creators continue to create. The HAC has been working and planning for the day when we can again present our programs, exhibits, and music for the benefit of our community.
Making art while enduring any range of societal changes is not something new: for many artists, creating work in response to the ups and downs of life is business as usual. Others use their creations as a direct response to the social and political news that impacts their lives and our society. The history of art tells us that throughout time artists created work as a response to pandemics and the social crises that affected them. Their often dramatic and powerful work survives to tell of their experiences and to give us a glimpse into their lives. This is true for all the arts - visual arts, literature, music, and theater all play a role in preserving collective memories of crises and carry on our history for years to come.
If you read between the lines of literature written during times of crisis, we so often find stories of humanity and hope. Visual art can range from the gruesome images that are invoked in our minds during these times, to visions of the incredible strength that can be found in those who are fighting for those who cannot. Plays can show us in a first-hand way how people endured. These words, pictures, performances, and songs are preserved and showcased by cultural institutions whose missions guide them to conserve, share, and educate our society on the artworks of our past and present. It is these museums, galleries, theaters, and community organizations like the Hillsborough Arts Council, that connect the community with the richness and value that the arts provide.
HAC is driven to enrich our community through the arts. Year-round programming includes performances, gatherings, and exhibitions that bring the value of art to the forefront of our community. These programs enliven and educate our friends and neighbors, drive tourism, and promote economic development. These programs have been paused for the health and safety of all involved. Fortunately, we live in a digital era. Unlike the artistic accomplishments found in museums and history books, the internet and social media link us in real-time despite our isolation and social distancing. We are able to actively share our creative process, inspirations, and completed works. Musicians can play live without so much as a few seconds of delay. Artists can create time-lapse videos as they work through new masterpieces, and we, the audience, can share them with friends, family, and fans from a safe distance and without risk.
We firmly believe that, during this difficult time, the arts will help to bring us together in this rapidly changing situation. Arts have an immediate impact on our thinking and feeling about our world and will help us to interpret and find meaning in the tidal wave of information and misinformation. As soon as possible, your Hillsborough Art Council will offer programs that promote understanding and community and help to reduce the uncertainty that is swirling around us.
Your support will help us continue to enliven the Hillsborough community and bring us back together when the time is right. Your support will help us preserve the cultural and artistic foundation of our town.