VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — In this uncertain time, artists, creative professionals, and cultural organizations are working together to manage the impact of COVID-19.
Kate Pittman, executive director of Virginia Beach's ViBe Creative District, said adversity was bringing out the best in local artists.
"As a community and a group of young entrepreneurs that are working hard and reinventing themselves on an almost weekly basis anyway, this crisis has certainly brought on a new wave of creativity," Pittman said.
The nonprofit Pittman oversees is a hub for artistic industries in the Resort Area, and works with about 100 organizations to foster local creativity.
Through the pandemic, she said many of the businesses and restaurants ViBe represents are either temporarily closed or offering curbside pickup and delivery.
"These are people that are trying to feed their families and put food on the table, and also continue to grow their business in a really desperate time," Pittman explained.
ViBe is also providing innovative ways to stay in touch with the community - including a virtual or walking tour of the district, a virtual tour of the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), an open-call virtual exhibit on the pandemic with Virginia Beach Arts Center and The Artist's Gallery, and downloadable art scavenger hunts and coloring pages from local artists.
"There's some beautiful artworks, thought-provoking, just visually interesting," said Pittman. "And it's a great thing to just sit there and talk about. It gives you something else to concentrate on for ten, fifteen, twenty minutes."
Donations to the vibrant cultural arts area are helping local creatives share their passion with the community during and after the crisis.
"It's activating that local creative community who live here, who are spending their dollars here," said Pittman. "The arts are very much a powerful local economic driver, and we're proud to be a part of that."
For more information about ViBe Creative District, visit its website. You can also check out the organization on Facebook.
More than 200 other local nonprofits need your support as part of the Give Local 757 initiative to spark local philanthropy. By donating, you'll help them continue to help the community recover from this crisis.