The artists are back.
They are leaping from under vast ancient oaks, swaying with the Spanish moss. They are sounding over brisk spring winds. They are wending their expression, tender and sublime, through still-cautious concert halls.
Suddenly, a calendar that for months was lousy with Zooms is peppered with live performances. With increasing frequency, my email inbox jumps with fresh cultural news: show announcements, the return of Spoleto, an opera production, a fall theater lineup.
These recent, increasing forays into live performing arts have switched up the usual biorhythms of the Charleston arts scene, with a quieted fall season now giving way to hints of spring vitality.
And while the flurry inspires, the arts are far from out of the woods.
One survey of South Carolina nonprofit organizations, which was commissioned by Together SC in partnership with a mix of foundations and funders, painted a particularly ominous scenario.
Far from over
A late-winter survey revealed that more than half serving in the creative and cultural sector lacked the funding to continue operations — and still face potential closure — without emergency funding for a sector that adds $9.7 billion to the state economy.
It is clear from where I am sitting how deeply the artists and practitioners want to come back. Over the past month, I’ve nestled into seats to bear…