Our daily section was diminished to once a week. Then we were sharing it with sports or life or some other annoying roommate. Then it was gone completely. We still get coverage here and there, but being in the paper doesn’t mean that much anymore. It certainly doesn’t move the masses. And now much of what’s left of the coverage is behind a paywall, so it only reaches a subsection of a subsection.
You could say things are a little bleak in the arts media space. Producers and artists had become accustomed to getting free publicity so much so that we believed it was our right. Was our special treatment unwarranted? I’m slightly biased, but I would say no. The arts, and I’ll speak for theatre more specifically, add a lot to a community. In Canada the large majority of theatres are not-for-profit, charitable organizations; although there are a couple of commercial theatres, these are by far the exception. Theatre is filled with passionate, hard-working people who do it because they love it and because they believe in it as a way to strengthen communities. After all, theatre at its core is communal storytelling; it invites the locals to come together to experience a story. And that experience can be a powerful one. Beyond that, many theatres do herculean outreach programs. They lead in the areas of inclusivity, diversity, education, and collaboration.