Alumni webinar: what future for the arts?

We recently brought together a panel of American and British Fulbrighters to talk about the future of the arts in a world with COVID-19.

After months of lockdown and economic slump, the news of a viable vaccine has injected a dose of optimism into the arts world. But the challenges ahead are formidable. The financial impact of the pandemic has been massive: 10% of US non-profit arts organisations, for example, don’t believe they will survive it. There’s been an explosion of performing arts online since March: so what will attract potentially risk averse audiences back to live – and more expensive - events? And, on the level of individual creativity, how has the virus changed artists and their work?

This alumni webinar featured:

  • Ade Solanke is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and academic. Her acclaimed debut play, Pandora's Box, was nominated for Best New Play in the Off West End Theatre Awards. She has an MFA in Film and Television from USC School of Cinematic Arts where she was a Fulbright Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa International Scholar and Association of American University women (AAUW) Scholar.
  • Román Baca is a classically trained ballet dancer, US Marine Iraq war veteran, artist and academic. He co-founded and directs Exit12 dance company, is researcher at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire (where he did an MFA during his Fulbright), and a Junior Research Scientist with the USAF/USN Research Unit (NAMRU). He was awarded the Selma Jeanne Cohen Dance Lecture Award for his research into the dance and the military.
  • Sharon Elizabeth Doyle has a BA/MFA in Theater from Cornell and was a playwright until she started screenwriting for PBS. A show called Working Women prepared her to write Cagney and Lacey on CBS. She wrote many issue-oriented series and TV movies, taught screenwriting at USC and was a 2014-15 Fulbright Scholar at University of the Arts London.
  • Jacqueline Donachie is an award-winning Scottish artist. She exhibits widely, is trustee for a number of organisations and advisor to Scottish Government Creative Industries Board. Her work is held in many national and international public collections, including Tate and the Arts Council. In 1995/96 she spent a year in New York as a Fulbright scholar at Hunter College.