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Stay-At-Home Orders Can Inspire Artists, Virtual Performances Might be Here to Stay


In-person art performances have been off limits for most people since coronavirus changed our daily routines. But that's not keeping actors and artists from their craft, says Bob Devin Jones, co-founder and artistic director of "Studio at 620" in St. Petersburg.

He says stay-at-home orders and the inability to perform in front of people is making artists pivot. "And creative people, the one thing that gives them ballast, is to create. So given, these given circumstances, I'm seeing examples of creativity," Jones said. Jones says "Studio at 620" doesn't want to bring audiences together until safety concerns about the spread of COVID-19 are gone. But he says tickets purchased for art exhibits, concerts and plays account for half of his annual budget. He says they've been humbled by an outpouring of financial support and people responding to performances broadcast online. These new ways of sharing art will remain a part of his studio. "I think we won't stop doing virtual performances, because some people who here-to-fore who couldn't come, we can now be in touch with them," Jones said. He says the uncertainty of when the studio will return to live shows means artists will need to continue to connect virtually. To watch the full conversation about how the arts are changing with the pandemic, click on the video below: About the show: Every Tuesday at noon, WMFE and WUSF bring you “The State We’re In”. We look at how the pandemic is reshaping the I-4 corridor. You’ll connect with health care experts, economic analysts, civic leaders and people experiencing the pandemic just like you. Join us on  WMFE and  WUSF‘s Facebook pages. This story is produced in partnership with  America Amplified, an initiative using community engagement to inform local journalism. It is supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.