How Artists Share Their Work In The Time Of Coronavirus

Apr 16, 2020

On this West Virginia Morning, keeping kids from falling through the cracks while schools are closed – we hear one speech pathologist’s experience. And we explore how to support artists in the time of COVID-19.

Just over 100 years ago, West Virginia faced the Spanish Flu, which is thought to be one of the world’s deadliest pandemics in modern history. Records indicate 500 million people died worldwide, and nearly 3,000 of those were West Virginians.

And while researchers have been hesitant to compare the Spanish Flu with the current pandemic, there have been some grim realities. The Centers for Disease Control estimates well over 100,000 people have died worldwide from coronavirus. 

One woman in Kanawha County shared her family’s story from the Spanish Flu, and it’s surprisingly hopeful.  

In March, West Virginia saw 90,000 unemployment claims. In a typical month the state has 5,000. According to the U.S. Labor Department, one of the industries hardest hit nationwide is arts and entertainment – a sector that primarily depends on social events, something that’s nearly impossible during the coronavirus pandemic.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting recently spoke with West Virginian artists to see how they’re coping, and we wanted to check in with the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts, which directly supports nearly 2,000 artists in the state. They’ve recently promoted their interactive newsletter to help West Virginian artists still feel a sense of community. Renee Margocee, the executive director of the foundation, spoke with folkways reporter Caitlin Tan.

Christine Nichols is a speech pathologist at Winfield Elementary School in Putnam County. In this audio postcard she talks about the challenges of trying to do speech therapy remotely with young kids who may not have access to the internet – even if they have caregivers who can help them.  

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

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