Creative Outlet at Home?

Taking the Region’s Pulse
Arts Advocate May/June 2020

Intent: To better understand how people are staying engaged and participating in the arts during the pandemic that requires stay-at-home orders.

Details: The Lehigh Valley has been without public arts events since early March when quarantine began. Over the first three months many digital arts experiences became available for free or for the first time.

On June 1, 2020 we asked 2 questions to readers of the Arts Advocate. 36 responses were captured.

Takeaway: As expected, Digital Experiences have taken center stage during this stay-at-home period. While some people have found more opportunity to practice physical arts activities, many more report tuning into online engagements. In our second prompt, which was open answer, we found the responses aligned to three generalized categories: change of habits, positive role of the arts and limitations/newfound appreciation for in-person arts experiences. Relatively the same amount of responses have been documented for each category. Some participants spoke to mixed feelings so we split those answers across categories.


Question 1: Which new method of arts participation have you been trying the most?

Question 2: How has experiencing art and culture adjusted for you during the changing times?

Visual representation of responses

All responses

Change in habits Positive role of the Arts Limitations of digital arts experiences and appreciation for in-person arts experiences 
“Our Spring concert was cancelled for Camerata Singers. We have a board meeting tonight to discuss when we can resume practices.”

-Carol Cunningham

“It has reminded me that there is still beauty in chaos.” “Unfortunately it has become more remote. I hope it won’t always stay this way.”

-Sydney Davis

“It has been mostly experienced online. “I think it’s important to remain connected to the arts at this time. It helps to pass the time in quarantine”

-Kellen Pisani

“Not the same, but music is uplifting!”

-MaryAnne Steinert

“Staying connected with our membership base and community through social media highlights of artists.  Sharing other local art organizations in our social accounts as well to keep interaction high as possible.”

-Arts Community of Easton

“The computer is the future of looking at art and receiving art to our homes.”

-William Zalewski

“Art for me it’s a social experience as well as a way of meeting people and experiencing new forms of expression. The digital experience, although necessary, is lonely and not as satisfying, I miss seeing it in person but it will have to do for now.”


“Everything now is done from home.”

-William Zulewski

“My preference is to see the arts in person. I am very thankful that virtual experiences were available online. Thank you again.”

-Rosalie Vaneck

“Makes me fully realize how much I value live concerts. Digital presentations are better than nothing, but the community of listeners in person is best.”
“It is different viewing arts and culture such as museums concerts and films online rather than in person.”

-Rosalie Vaneck

“We had lots of fun making paper and creating cards from the home made paper.” “Can’t get books or music from libraries & have neighbors sharing now. Some art needs to be touched which is now impossible without changing method of delivery. live theater is decimated, TV does not duplicate the effect.”

-Gloria Hamm

“Have tried new art media at home that we had only tried at a college workshop.” “I enjoy listening to and watching music videos especially. (Youtube). Since I am unable to attend live events. Not the same, but music is uplifting!”

-MaryAnne Steinert

“It hasn’t worked very well. Virtual is no substitute for in person enjoyment.”
“My salary was reduced, pension contribution eliminated, work has tripled.” “So grateful (for) the virtual expertise to share art in so many forms.”

-Karen Yeakel

“Longing for the tactile experience”

-Karen Yeakel

“Cooking, painting and decorating” “Perfectly divine”


“I am now getting accustomed to looking at digital images which may well be the new way to buy art subject to receipt and approval of the physical work of art.”

-Bruce Loch

“I have been more productive.” “More time to experience calmness or (in) life while creating artwork.” “Digital is OK in a pinch, however, we must reopen live venues and performances.”
“Listening to music electronically. Watching Netflix”

-David Voellinger

“Outstanding and learning new ways of seeing art as well as teaching myself watercolors and going back to the basics.”

-Maryann Riker

“My preference is to see the arts in person.”

-Rosalie Vaneck

“I, though a “minor poet,” have spent the past six weeks writing 34 poems that detail my life: Before and  After: My Life in Verse — thus creating my own creative space….”

-Barbara Conover

“Despite my preference to LIVE music and dance concerts, I am deeply grateful for all the art and culture made available on line providing me the opportunity to see great artists that may not have ever come thru the Lehigh Valley ~ Paris Opera Ballet for example.”


“I miss going to live performances.”
“As a Gallery Director, I have made a significant effort to promote my artists & and their work online, via social media. I will continue this high level of online marketing by incorporating it into my business plan/model, even after I’m able to resume a full exhibition schedule in my physical space.”

-Lisa M. Kovacs

“I am a dance teacher In a charter high school. It has been a roller coaster ride but I have adapted and found a new way of teaching. It has actually made me do research I would never have done before.”   “That being said, I’ve been negatively impacted both professionally and personally by presenting and experiencing art & culture online only. While I appreciate the unprecedented free access, particularly to museums, galleries, and art fairs, as well as the effort that goes into providing them, I rarely seek it out. It’s simply not the same as experiencing art in person. Nothing can replace the all-encompassing experience of encountering a work of art face-to-face.”

-Lisa M. Kovacs

“I have been tuning in to a lot of different music live streams as well as participating in masterclasses.  I also have followed some visual arts accounts.”   “I am more aware that there are opportunities to open up our work to audiences around the world.  This simple fact, which has been with us for awhile now, has just begun to influence decisions.”

-William T. George

‘Remote, OK for temporary, obviously not the same as “live”’
“I watch everything online now, screening to my tv whenever possible.”   “Feeling art and music deprived since we prefer live experiences over digital concerts. Concerts in the living (via on line)room don’t captivate us like being there in person.  We lose interest in don’t hang in there for the entire event.”

-Emilie (Home)

“Experiencing art and culture has adjusted for me during these changing times by being able to take online Tours to some Art Museums like The Allentown Art Museum, Penn Museum, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art instead of physically experiencing these opportunities in person.”

-Maria M. Pizarro

“Although, I believe nothing compares to being able to experience art and culture “LIVE”! However, an online art and cultural experiences is better than nothing.”

-Maria M. Pizarro