The coronavirus outbreak is a human tragedy that is affecting every aspect of what was once considered a normal life. This crisis has had a devastating impact on our small business community. Yet, each day brings more examples of their resolve and resilience to meet this challenge with vigor, imagination, and compassion.
SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon salutes these small business owners who are handed lemons by the COVID-19 crisis and turn them into lemonade
SCORE mentor Jerry Glenn was excited at the prospect of being able to attend a First Friday event at his client's art gallery on May 1st and proud that artist Freiman Stoltzfus, usually so reticent about stepping in front of a camera had agreed to be in the virtual spotlight this way. But the COVID-19 crisis was causing many artists to change the way they staged exhibits and events. The new normal was presenting tremendous challenges for the arts community and Freiman Stoltzfus Gallery was determined to discover creative solutions.
First Friday in May is typically a milestone event in the arts community and a preview for Spring ArtWalk.
This year galleries remained dark due to the pandemic. Still, Freiman Stoltzfus was determined to bring the lights up that evening on his latest collection and on a celebration of the arts as a way to find solace, joy, and hope during this crisis.
A virtual event - First Friday Reimaged was born, with the help of partner Tim Steffen and gallery manager Bethany Smith. This social media evening of live events was planned that included: a gallery tour, a ragtime piano concert from Tim, live painting and drawing from Freiman, and a pre-taped tour of the artists' works in progress from his home studio. There were also live appearances from international musicians around the globe who contributed their music to the evening in celebration of the arts.
"Art will always be essential."
The evening was a brilliant success with over 2,400 viewers to the live event. The Freiman Stoltzfus Gallery is already planning an encore because Freiman could never consider art nonessential. "For me, it as necessary as life and breath and nourishment and rest. For me, it is not a luxury; it is a necessity."