No one expected, in this “cancel culture” era, that the culture would literally be canceled. But here we are.
As we go to press, the governor and mayor announced that the battle against the deadly coronavirus necessitated curtailing nearly all public gatherings, a decision that was either mandatory or just moral, depending on the size of the event. The result? For the next two weeks to two months, just about every play, every museum, every concert has been postponed.
While the public health imperative is inarguable, the shock and pain is palpable. Whether you mourn the loss of a rare opportunity to see something like Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle at the Lyric—the logistics of opera make rescheduling almost impossible in the near future and it will likely take years—or the life-shaking loss of income that threatens the survival of so many artists and other workers who rely on the artistic economy for sustenance (including arts publications!), this wave of cancellations only adds to the somber mood.
Though this issue was nearly finished when these announcements came, we grappled briefly with how to handle it: should we postpone it, or simply cancel the articles covering events that will no longer take place? In the end, we decided neither would do: we would publish, as that’s what we do, and we would run the interviews and coverage that we planned even if you won’t see the work live—for these artists and their creations deserve that, at least. If you can’t see them now, you now know about them.
We’ve done our best in limited time and early in the cancel cycle to update stories and listings where we can, but please call the venue before heading to a show or exhibition.
And please, please put your safety and the safety of others as your top priority, but if you’re comfortable going out, to see a small theater company still performing or artwork hanging in a gallery, please do that, too, for your sake and theirs.
And remember that so much of the cultural economy that you rely upon to nourish your soul survives on a shoestring, and needs your support, especially including the restaurants that we’re featuring in this issue. Go to a restaurant, please. But if you don’t think that’s the right thing to do, don’t go. Order in. They need our business. And we need them to survive.
And please subscribe to Newcity. We’ll mail it right to your social-distancing sanctuary.
Look for Newcity’s April 2020 print edition at over 1000 Chicago-area locations this week or subscribe to the print edition at newcity.com/subscribe.
In this issue: