Like so many industries in this age of disease and abject political incompetence, the world of arts and entertainment has been having a rough go of it. Live events have been kneecapped by measures meant to slow the spread of coronavirus — most germane to this discussion, the restrictions on crowd size and the now generally accepted fact that most activities are safest when enjoyed outdoors rather than confined within four walls.
The net result has been a wave of cancellations and shuttered venues, with creatives and those who strive to support their visions locked out of the work they love with no end in sight. Luckily, this is a scrappy group. Daunted but undeterred, the visionaries behind many of St. Louis' most beloved arts and entertainment institutions have characteristically found creative ways to keep pushing forward. From the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival's inspired adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream into "A Late Summer Night's Stroll" through Forest Park to the Fresh Produce Beat Battle's conversion from an in-person event to the internet's fiercest live-streamed competition, from the Red and Black Brass Band's surprise stops on streets throughout the city to the re-emergence of drive-ins as vital cultural touchstones, these are the ways St. Louis has stayed entertained and artsy in this, the Worst of Times. — Daniel Hill