Lawyer works to avoid wasting the humanities throughout COVID-19 pandemic

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Lawyer works to save the arts during COVID-19 pandemic

Orlando – Orlando was really built on performances and art, starting with Walt Disney World. Now it's going so far beyond the parks, with world-class performing arts and art groups competing with any major city in the United States.

But now they are in danger and it is impossible to predict how well one of these organizations will survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is where people like Brendan Lynch come in. Lynch is a shareholder in the Lowndes law firm, but it is his love of art that has earned him a nomination as one of our heroes.

"Last year, I took the chair of United Arts of Central Florida's board," said Lynch. "United Arts is the largest funding organization of over 60 art organizations in Central Florida."

United Arts of Central Florida (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)

These organizations include some that are as well known as the Orlando Science Center, the Opera Orlando and the Orlando Ballet, but also so many smaller groups that you may not be so familiar with.

"We know about Timucua and the performances they give every weekend in an Orlando crowd-pulling house," said Lynch. "People who bring Potluck meals and gather in a room for wonderful music. Do we know the Steinway Society that helps children teach piano week after week? Things like that are not so obvious and not so visible." but they touch individual lives. "

But lately, in the midst of the COVID 19 pandemic, the looks of the arts in Orlando have changed and there is no telling when they might return to normal.

"A few museums were allowed to open recently, but from a performing arts perspective, not only have they not performed since March, they also see nothing on the horizon that says they will be able to do so in the fall," said Lynch. "They are all trying to do things to engage their donors, their patrons, the performers, the community with virtual art classes and zoom calls. One group we fund at United Arts is the FringeFest. A couple of weeks ago they hosted a free online fringe festival. It was only available online so people could watch and come in and watch when they wanted. The Philharmonic gave small mini concerts, the ballet does small visuals online if they can. But these are not necessarily money earners, right, they don’t make any money in the programs. And if you miss a show, if you can’t do a production, it’s kind of an elixir of life and it’s over. So if you miss three or a season, it's definitely over. "

United Arts of Central FloridaUnited Arts of Central Florida (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)

This is one of the reasons why United Arts has made an even bigger fundraiser than usual to help the organizations.

"United Arts runs a campaign each year called the United Arts Collaborative Campaign," said Lynch. "It's generally running in the first three months, the first four months of the year, and for a few years now it's been a $ 2.1.2.2 million campaign. We have $ 3.2 million this year -Dollar collected. "

Money that not only makes things like evening performances possible in the future – but the programs you don't think about affect people every day.

"This can result in art being brought into senior institutions, close relationships with OCPS to bring students to programs they would otherwise never see, and working with our government agencies to create art for our government institutions to provide, "said Lynch.

United Arts of Central FloridaUnited Arts of Central Florida (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)

This is one of the biggest challenges for the groups. You can certainly have the experiences that make them so great.

"I think that's the multi-million dollar question of how things will change," said Lynch. “There is no presumption that everything will return to normal in six or twelve months, especially in the performing arts. How do choirs work safely and appropriately? But I think what we saw and what these groups learn mostly is how to connect in different ways and how to connect virtually is a big deal. It's a big deal in all industries and art is no exception, how can I connect with you over the phone or via a video conference? How do we do it differently if you can't come to a show? Can we only provide a full service online and charge a fee for it? These are questions that are asked, and it's not unlike how cinemas try to figure out how to do it. "

United Arts of Central FloridaUnited Arts of Central Florida (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)

But Lynch said the best thing about the arts at times like this was that they could be a much-needed escape.

"The arts keep people healthy in many ways, you know, we can talk about our little children and sing with them in the house or sing without our little children in the house or dance parties in the house, those are moments during this pandemic with some relief , with a little joy, and we're trying to keep those memories alive for all of these organizations, "said Lynch.

Lynch said he was honored to be selected as one of our heroes, but he was not the only hero working to keep the arts going. Many people keep these efforts alive.

"It is an honor for me to be in their presence. I am a lawyer who happens to love the arts and is lucky enough to be able to interact with them on a regular basis and how they have committed to this community to raise over $ 3 million to support these groups and how they do theirs Keeping people and employees going The top performers in the positions in which they operate are exceptional, ”said Lynch.

United Arts of Central FloridaUnited Arts of Central Florida (Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.)

Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.