Arts Issue Spring 2020

Much like the subjects it showcases, this Arts Issue has to persevere against the odds.

Kaylee DeFreitas and Ethan Zack

When preparation for this Arts Issue first began, the original premise was to highlight the sacrifices and obstacles that artists had to overcome during the creation process in order to share their art with the world. Little did we know that a sizable roadblock was on the horizon one that would simultaneously impact the creative processes and lives of artists everywhere.

In the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it would be unfair to expect anything of student artists. From being physically displaced from their usual environment by NYU’s closure of its facilities, to overcoming the virus itself, to simply navigating the perils of online classes, life has become overwhelming. 

And yet, they have pressed on. The artists and creators featured in this issue have kept their passion burning at a time when just about everything threatened to extinguish it. Their dedication is a testament to the strength of art as a force of positivity and community in an uncertain world and an inspiration for us at the Arts Desk to move forward with our coverage of these creators. We have no doubt that the artistic landscape will come back stronger than ever after this pandemic, but for now, we must do our part to feature the people keeping the spirit of the arts alive until then.

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We want to thank all the people who helped make this issue a reality. Without their encouragement and assistance, there very well might not have been an Arts Issue at all, but thanks to them, we have been able to produce a series of stories that we think are both necessary and illuminating. 

We would like to thank the Under the Arch team for all their guidance and support throughout this entire process. Special shout-outs go to Guru Ramanathan and Mandie Montes, who consistently believed in the importance and necessity of this project even as the odds were stacked against it. They believed that we could do it, and because of that, we could. 

A huge amount of appreciation must also go to the spectacular management team at Washington Square News. Your feedback and advice helped shape this issue right from its very inception and we always knew that, no matter what, you all had our backs. Special thanks to Abby Hofstetter and Cole Stallone for leading Washington Square News with utmost grace and glowing enthusiasm during this trying time. 

Thank you to all the people who were featured in this Arts Issue. Your art is powerful and your determination to your craft is inspiring. Thank you for allowing us to feature you and for letting us share your process.

Finally, we would like to thank all our fellow editors on the fantastic Arts Desk, Sasha Cohen, Fareid El Gafy, Nicolas Pedrero-Setzer and Ashley Wu. We are so immensely proud of the work you’ve put in, not just on this Special Issue, but throughout the entire semester on a weekly basis. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of talented, driven and kind people to consistently realize the full potential of what arts journalism can accomplish. You folks are incredible. It has been a pleasure working with you all and navigating through this pandemic together, not just as coworkers, but as friends. 

The Arts Issue may not have taken a conventional route this semester but due to all the hard work of the people listed above, we are proud of what you are about to read. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share this issue with you. Stay safe and support the arts!

Best, 

Kaylee DeFreitas and Ethan Zack, Arts Editors

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