City under 'stay at home' order, GCAC establishes COVID-19 relief grant and local musicians continue to look for silver linings, among other happenings

On Sunday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced during his daily press conference that Ohio Department of Health director Dr. Amy Acton had issued a "stay at home" order for the state, which will begin at 11:59 p.m. tonight (Monday, March 23) and run through April 6, at which point it will be re-evaluated. The order is the most aggressive step yet taken by officials in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the globe. The order states that people can only leave their homes to obtain medical care, for health and safety, for necessary supplies and services (including groceries and takeout meals), for outdoor activity, for approved types of work, to take care of others or for weddings and funerals.

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Late last week, the Great Columbus Arts Council (GCAC) announced the establishment of a COVID-19 relief grant designed to assist artists of all disciplines financially impacted by the virus. The grant allows individuals to apply for lost performance funds and exhibition revenue, and to offset the loss of income generated by teaching artists unable to continue working amid the ongoing shutdowns. Artists are able to apply for grants of up to $1,000, with priority given to those whose needs are most dire (food, shelter, etc.). Full details are available at the GCAC site here.

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During this time, it's important to continue to search for silver linings, which many artists and musicians have done, converting live concerts to online webstreams and using the unexpected free time to write and record new material. Recently, a group of Columbus musicians kicked off a song a day quarantine project, with various artists writing and recording a new tune each day for a week and then posting the collected material to Bandcamp. Contributing artists feature members of Dandelion Hunter, First Responder, the Roof Dogs and Trying, among others. You can listen to volume one of the collection here. (Subsequent collections can also be accessed from that page.)

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In addition, Clintonville residents have been holding outdoor porch concerts designed to lift the spirits of those currently living under stay at home restrictions. “Making music and letting that filter into our neighborhood is a great way to reach out to people a little more homebound than we are," Ryan Skinner told the Dispatch. "It’s a reminder that we’re here."