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Arts and Entertainment

Anchorage arts organizations plan a day of virtual performances and messages on Saturday

In the midst of a pandemic, with almost all the expected fall performance dates canceled, local arts organizations are collaborating in a virtual, one-day event: Artworks Anchorage.

More than 20 organizations will create videos up to 15 minutes long addressing why the arts are important to Anchorage. The videos will be shared on social media platforms with the hashtags #ArtworksAnchorage, #ShareYourArt and #FindYourArt.

Individual artists are also encouraged to share their work — whether that means singing from a front doorstep or dancing in a driveway.

“If you’re on the event or following the hashtag, you might see 15 minutes from the Concert Association and 15 minutes from the symphony and the next 15 minutes will be a dance group,” said Lainie Dreas, executive director with Alaska Junior Theater. “Everyone is doing it a little bit differently.”

Participating groups include the Anchorage Concert Association, Anchorage Opera, Anchorage Folk Festival, University of Alaska Anchorage Concert Board, Pulse Dance Company, Momentum Dance Collective, popular ’80s tribute band I Like Robots and others.

“It’s as much advocacy and a plea for support, as well as just celebrating what the arts mean in our community,” Dreas said.

Dreas says some of the performing arts groups have been on weekly and biweekly check-in meetings on Zoom since the pandemic hit Alaska in March. Many production companies normally receive most of their income from shows. Now, everything has to be contributed.

“We are just encouraging people to also consider what art is in their lives ... We also want to see what they do,” Dreas said. “Have they gotten into cooking since the pandemic and now they make this amazing cake that they want to do a quick video of? Do they do chalk art in the driveway? Do they want to sing us a song? It’s just a way for them to show us art in their lives — whatever that may be.”

Videos will be shared from 10 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, with the festivities ending with a unique curtain call. Individuals are encouraged to open their windows or stand on their porches and cheer for the arts community.

“Now that we aren’t able to be in the theater, we need to let people know that we are here, that our doors were the first ones closed and most likely to be one of the last ones open again before we can return to the theater, and that we need help to stay here,” Dreas said.

To follow along on Saturday, search the hashtags #ArtworksAnchorage, #ShareYourArt and #FindYourArt on your preferred social media platform from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For the schedule of performances, visit the Artworks Anchorage Facebook event.