The local and regional arts scenes are remerging as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and see some improvements.

There are still virtual classes and exhibits but we are starting to see more outdoor shows and in-person events.

We hope to see more of these as circumstances permit.

We also need to redouble our efforts to support local artists, museums and arts groups. Just like small businesses and restaurants, it has been a tough year for the arts community.

COVID-19 has not only shut down and restricted galleries and museums. The economic fallout from the coronavirus has hurt funding and revenue streams for arts organizations and artists. Nonprofits across the board have taken major financial hits.

Artists, many of whom have “day jobs,” have also been challenged and hurt by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

We are glad to see some arts groups and museums on the Mid-Shore and Delmarva Peninsula start up exhibits, classes and events again. Of course, these are all abiding by social distancing. We need to stay safe but they very much deserve our strong support.

The Academy Art Museum in Easton has been holding outdoor classes for artists and will debut a new exhibit on its on lawn on Friday from artist Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann. Mann is also the featured artist at the museum’s upcoming Virtual Craft Show that runs Oct. 16 through Oct. 18. We encourage you check out these events.

Other Mid-Shore and Delmarva arts groups are also holding new events and worth your support.

Kent Island Federation of Arts will honor veterans with a multimedia art show next month. The Kent Island show is called “Honoring Our Veterans Literary and Visual Art Show” coincides with Veterans Day. It includes visual arts, literary writings and poems. The Main Street Gallery in Cambridge is also hosting a new exhibit by artist Laurie Flannery.

The arts are also starting to emerge again in other communities. The Rehoboth Art League, for example, is hosting an outdoor drawing class Wednesday morning. The Art League of Ocean City is featuring the work of mosaic artist Lisa Scarbath for the month of November at Center for the Arts.

We need to see more of these types of events throughout the Eastern Shore.

There has been a proper focus on the plights of small businesses, restaurants and all the jobs and workers impacted by COVID-19. We cannot lose sight of the health impacts the pandemic has had. There have been 3,817 lives lost in Maryland to the pandemic.

But as the situation improves and as the economy and our collective social lives emerge from the pandemic, we need to make sure we are supporting the arts and artists.

They are part of the backbone, part of the soul of our communities. They bring character and creativity to our towns. They have been hit hard by COVID-19 and we need to support them with similar vigor as small businesses, frontline workers and others who have been impacted by this unprecedented year.

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