The Show Must Go On-line: Veterans and the Arts Initiative Goes Virtual

With performing arts and other venues closed indefinitely due to the coronavirus, arts organizations are creating alternative and inspiring ways to bring the arts to the public online. Vienna State Opera is offering a different opera for free viewing each day via its streaming platform. Drum Tao, a Japanese drumming group that has performed at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts (our sister venue) recently live-streamed one of their performances, and efforts are underway for the Hylton Center to bring you engaging virtual content soon through Mason's College of Visual and Performing Arts' new initiative Mason Arts at Home! We're excited that members of the Bumper Jacksons, who were originally scheduled to perform as part of the Hylton American Roots Series in May, will be streaming a concert as part of this new initiative Saturday, April 4 at 8 p.m. Details for how to join will be shared soon!

The Hylton Center’s Veterans and the Arts Initiative is also fully embracing this immediate trend by converting what started as in-person guitar and ukulele workshops to “teleworkshops” for live-streaming. The first live-stream took place Tuesday, March 17 with the Dominion Energy Veterans Guitar Workshop Series, led by George Mason University guitar instructor Mr. Glen McCarthy and facilitated by Mrs. Emily Fasick, Program Assistant, and Dr. Niyati Dhokai, Program Director for the Veterans and the Arts Initiative and Research Assistant Professor, College of Visual and Performing Arts.  “Over two nights, we had more than 50 people participate,” said Dr. Dhokai. “So many people expressed how good it felt to engage in ‘normal’ activity. Between the joyous greetings as folks entered the on-line group, to active music-making, conversation, and camaraderie during the workshops, the workshops were interactive and collaborative.”

The upcoming Ukulele Workshop Series that begins April 28 is also in the process of transitioning to live-streaming. Dr. Dhokai further explained the benefits of these teleworkshops in an age of uncertainty.  “For the Veterans and the Arts Initiative, we’ve had the opportunity to meet the needs of the community, while creatively using technology to safely provide community arts programming and serve people as best we can during this challenging time.”  Learn more about the Hylton Center’s Veterans and the Arts Initiative.