In this moment of change, a true shift is happening. We are developing new practices of supporting one another.
Today is so very different from yesterday. Some of us may be reeling from how quickly our lives have changed—our days shifting to a different pace, our livelihoods in question, our communities looking for solutions to problems that weren’t ever imagined. It is in times like these that we really need to focus on our ability to recover from stress in order to move forward. If we can manage the uncertainty and fear of a new tomorrow, we can also realize the great opportunity and positive change that come with it.
Our world is changing. How do we handle it?
First, breathe. Stress and fear can shut down our creative mind, so make sure you are practicing self-care. Take walks, journal, read, stretch, make art—whatever brings your head out of the constant rhetoric of this pandemic and into the moment. Realize that in this moment there is balance.
Get creative! It’s time to really assess your strengths and assets and think about how they can benefit the community in this new environment.
Next, get creative! It’s time to really assess your strengths and assets and think about how they can benefit the community in this new environment. This may mean re-evaluating your work and its mission, and pivoting your role in order to fill new gaps and meet current needs. We all need to shift and stretch together to make our communities whole.
As the leader of a local nonprofit organization, The Art Effect, I’ve seen a drastic impact from COVID-19 on my agency already. Contracts with schools are unfulfilled, events are cancelled, programs are cut; however, because of this pressure, an incredible amount of innovation has emerged. Our teaching artists are creating online courses, our communications team posts daily at-home art challenges, and our education team has shifted to develop tools to support digital learning.
This kind of pullback and shift is happening very quickly to so many of our local businesses—restaurants, hairdressers, performing art groups, gyms, theaters, shops, and so on. We must accept that everything is changing. If you are a type-A, business-minded individual like myself, you may want to sketch out a number of scenarios as a practical step to weathering this tornado.
I’m doing this both programmatically and budgetarily. I like having a plan. Although I understand that no plans are solid right now, I like to project what my organizational shift may look like if this period of containment lasts 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, or longer.
There is so much hope. Hope that by reducing certain behaviors we can heal our earth. Hope that we can create more equity among humanity and build communities that can support those living within.
It reduces my stress and anxiety and allows me to get into a more creative realm of thinking—brainstorming new programs, community needs, and partnerships. In this moment of change, there is incredible hope—a true shift is happening. We are developing new practices of supporting one another. Folks are organizing and delivering food and supply donations, having virtual parties, offering art and words of support and inspiration. Facebook Groups have been created to help us work together during this period of isolation. VisitVortex’s “Hudson Valley In It Together” is a space where people and businesses can continue to support each other. Circle Creative Collective is resurrecting traditional skills and sharing simple craft ideas that have long been lost in our current culture. This is what resiliency looks like.
There is so much hope. Hope that by reducing certain behaviors we can heal our earth. Hope that we can create more equity among humanity and build communities that can support those living within. Hope that we don’t return to an over-worked, disconnected society, where dinner is a chore and there is not time to get involved in our children’s schoolwork. Perhaps we shall emerge from this as a more introspective, connected, creative, thoughtful, spiritual, capable people. It starts with each of us making a shift.
the art effect
45 Pershing Avenue, Poughkeepsie 845-471-7477