2022’s Forecast for the Arts

2022’s Forecast for the Arts

Many aspects of our lives have changed since the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, where the arts were one of the first to be put on pause. There were immediate cancellations of in-person activities – such as live theater, community festivals, concerts, dance performances, a trip to the movies, and more. The need to protect ourselves and others by limiting gatherings forced us to shift our in-person arts events to a virtual setting to continue enjoying the unifying power of the arts and the joy it brings to our lives. At IBA, we were inspired to offer Festival Betances online in both 2020 and 2021, along with our popular Tito Puente Latin Music Series, among others.

Once the vaccines were created and made available to many of us, we were excited about coming back to in-person arts events. In September, we celebrated arts, culture and community in Villa Victoria with music and the unveiling of a beautiful Puerto Rican flag mural by artist Héctor Collazo. In November, we kicked-off the Holiday season Puerto Rican-style, with the vibrant, energetic and joyful concert of acclaimed singer and troubadour, Julio César Sanabria. However, if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that everyday life can change on a dime, and we must be strategic in how we prepare for tomorrow.

With continually changing policies, restrictions, and variants, it’s hard to anticipate what our participation and engagement in live arts will look like in 2022. However, based on recent data, here’s what we can expect:

  • Tighter safety requirements for in-person activities. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu recently announced that, starting February 15, anyone who is twelve and older will be required to show proof of vaccination for indoor entertainment and event venues.
  • Intentional efforts to fund the arts. Mayor Wu has acknowledged that the need to invest in the arts is bound to the city’s pandemic recovery strategy. This would involve establishing a sustainable revenue source to support the arts, which Mayor Wu is hoping to establish, and reducing the costs of living in Boston to ensure artists and creatives can live affordably here.
  • A new understanding in the need for flexibility in live performances. Many arts venues are calling for free or inexpensive Covid-19 tests to be made more readily available and for public funding, which would enable troupes to continue paying their staff and making their shows more accessible.
  • Evolving Covid-19 developments and public health recommendations. With emerging Covid-19 variants, such as Delta and Omicron, top scientists and officials have been reconsidering what it means to be “fully vaccinated” now that booster shots are highly recommended to anyone over eighteen years old, which are proven to protect the body against severe illness from the virus and help prevent infection. We anticipate that the definition of vaccination requirements may evolve as a result.

Here at IBA, we are hopeful for a 2022 where we can celebrate our commitment to and love for the arts. We are planning a series of truly exceptional events, both virtual and in-person, that will be guided by public health policies and protocols to ensure the health and safety of our community. Amongst these events, we are optimistic about welcoming everyone back to Plaza Betances for the in-person celebration of our signature Festival Betances on July 16!

While we can expect that the arts will face many more challenges before we are able to put the pandemic behind us, there is one thing that remains certain: the arts are an integral part of our lives. They influence society through opening doors to various cultures and perspectives, and provide a space for us all to come together – no matter our backgrounds – and celebrate a shared experience with one another. We look forward to carrying on this mission in 2022.

For more information about past and upcoming events visit our website.