A student looks to the Cincinnati arts scene as a sense of hope during the pandemic.

Mount St. Joseph News


This semester, I’ve been lucky enough to take Dr. Elizabeth Barkley’s and Dr. Peter Robinson’s Cincinnati Arts Scene class.  I remember that at the beginning of the semester, Dr. Robinson told us that Cincinnati is known around the world for its arts scene and mentioned an article where Cincinnati was ranked as being one of the best places to visit. I’ve been amazed at what all Cincinnati has to offer, as it is home to a wonderfully creative and diverse arts scene. While I know that it might appear to some that Cincinnati doesn’t offer us a whole lot, we really do have a variety of fantastic museums, galleries, venue, theatres, etc. to keep us entertained. But with the current COVID-19 pandemic, unfortunately, we cannot experience Cincinnati’s arts scene in the way that it was intended to be.


While our time together as a class was short, along with my classmates, I got to experience Cincinnati’s arts scene. We had quite a few guest speakers come to us to talk about their role in the arts scene, and we even got to see Mount St. Joseph’s very own production of “The Importance of Being Earnest.” We also went to the Esquire Theatre to see “Little Women” and to Music Hall to see the Cincinnati Ballet’s production of “Swan Lake.”


Going to see the Cincinnati Ballet perform “Swan Lake” was honestly one of my favorite meetings. I was in complete awe of the renovated Music Hall and the beauty of it, especially after learning about its extensive history. I loved seeing the dancers, and hearing Tchaikovsky’s music come together made me so excited! Before we saw “Swan Lake,” our professors really gave us a taste of what it’s like to do ballet and the history and culture that’s involved. They arranged for Mount alum Sara Croswell (back at the Mount now pursuing a Doctorate of Physical Therapy) to come teach us some ballet moves, as she’s been dancing since the age of 3, focusing on ballet. I had so much fun that night seeing everyone try out various ballet moves such as coupé turns, chassés (a type of ballet move for quick steps in a gliding motion), etc. but it was also challenging. I feel that I had a much greater respect for ballet dancers and I could really appreciate “Swan Lake” more so.


I would love to get out and see more of the arts scene that Cincinnati calls home, but unfortunately, venues are shut down due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. So much hard work and effort goes into every performance and exhibit created in our organizations in Cincinnati. Unfortunately, because of the coronavirus, these performances had to be cancelled or postponed. Just about every arts organization in Cincinnati has been shut down for the foreseeable future until everything clears up with the coronavirus, which, judging by the Ohio Governor Mike Dewine’s updates, won’t be anytime soon.


However, many local venues are taking steps to make artwork available to the public from the safety of everyone’s homes. On March 25, there were 10 local musicians who did a live stream of a roughly 15 minute show starting at 7:30 p.m., giving people a taste of Cincinnati music. Many museums have also created virtual tours such as the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Cincinnati Museum Center, which can be found on their websites.


We’re living in a time of history and panic; however, we think that people can look towards the arts scene in Cincinnati as a place of hope. The Cincinnati arts scene has faced many obstacles before and has always been resilient, and now is no exception.