Utah is ‘one of the best arts states in America’ Gov. Gary Herbert says during COVID-19 briefing
‘When those early pioneers came into our valley, one of the first things they built was a performing arts center,’ Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said.
SALT LAKE CITY — In a COVID-19 press briefing Thursday that extended the stay home directive through the end of the month, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert gave a shoutout to Utah’s sports and performing arts organizations.
“Probably no sector has been hit any harder than those organizations,” Herbert said in a video shared by Utah Opera on Facebook. “We are a state that’s been founded really at the beginning with art. When those early pioneers came into our valley, one of the first things they built was a performing arts center. We have significant arts and success in our arts here in the state of Utah, and one of the best arts states in America today with the talent we have.”
The arts industry nationwide has already lost more than $3 billion in the wake of the pandemic, the Deseret News recently reported. Many arts organizations in Utah are hurting as venues, theaters and concert halls have shut down.
“We are extremely fortunate to be in a community that is embracing the arts like they do,” Quinn Dietlein, Hale Centre Theatre’s executive director, previously told the Deseret News. “But the theater — it’s a nonprofit. We have to still go out and raise millions of dollars just to break even every year. We’re planning on this being a several year recovery for the theater.”
Arts organizations across Utah are staying connected to the community by developing a stronger online presence. Hale Center Theater in Orem has been streaming productions online. Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy, Utah Symphony and Utah Opera showcase the talents of musicians and performers in daily social media videos.
Herbert said he hopes there will be an even greater appreciation for the arts in Utah once the pandemic is over.
“I appreciate the challenge (these organizations are) facing,” Herbert said. “Let me just have everybody recognize their support and their willingness to work on behalf of the common good of the state of Utah. … For those who have the ability, if you want to buy your season tickets for next fall, next season, please do so.”