The arts are slowly making their way back to The Flynn Theater. Last weekend it experimented with new ways to deliver art, which meant artists performed at the bottom of the building through the glass window.
The Executive Director of The Flynn Jay Wahl said the pandemic has been difficult on artist because many of their concerts were cancelled.
The Flynn’s called last weekends event, “Window on Main series,” which was being promoted on social media with the hashtag #FlynnFishbowl. The event was intended to help artists that were out of work.
Although the glass window didn’t stop the connection between the artist and the audience.
“I call that an interrupted gift,” Wahl said. “You’re on your way to meet a friend or the dentist or whatever you’re doing and suddenly there’s art and it connects with you. The music stops you in your tracks.”
In 2019, the Flynn sold 130,000 tickets to 245 shows and more. Last year, it was just 30,000 tickets sold for 63 events.
“It’s been some challenges, our normal methodology of raising funds has been challenged,” Wahl said.
It’s been a challenge for musician Sarah Cullins and her husband.
“Probably it was a third of our income that completely disappeared over night,” Cullins said.
Cullins said performing in the window made it feel more normal.
“I think especially singers were so addicted to the feedback that we are getting from an audience, we’re not looking down at an instrument we’re looking into people’s eyes,” Cullins said.
Joshua Glass is another musician that lost a third of his income, during the pandemic. He said The Flynn gave him the opportunity to perform again in front of people.
“My eyes were just kind of like darting around the room being like this is real, this isn’t in front of my computer this is happening right now,” Glass said. “And every time I peered up there would be people out there.”
Wahl believes during this time, the arts can help us heal.
“We are mourning a lot of loss, people have lost people and it’s hard,” Wahl said. “People are lonely, people are separated from their family, people are separated from their friends, people can’t go into the office to meet their colleagues, the arts are a way to understand those feelings.”
The Flynn’s next big event will be the Jazz Festival that starts June 4 and goes until the 13.