Even before a ban on large gatherings in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties began in March, concern over the novel coronavirus had led to steep drops in ticket sales and canceled fundraisers, performances and corporate gigs. Since then, the news has only gotten worse for local arts groups and artists, as moves to curb the spread of COVID-19 meant more restrictions on gatherings, closed venues and a still-active prohibition on live entertainment.

How are local arts groups holding up and what do they have planned this fall, despite the restrictions? Here, they tell us in their own words, offering a snapshot of how some are weathering this unprecedented time.

Replies have been edited for length and clarity.

Music venues and musicians

With the COVID-19 pandemic indefinitely suspending live music as we knew it, we checked in with a handful of Seattle musicians and venue owners to discuss how they’re getting by and preparing for an uncertain future.

Classical music

From digital concerts to virtual recitals, here’s how a few of the region’s classical music groups have planned for this fall.


Live, in-person performances aren’t possible right now but local theaters are offering everything from virtual conversations with playwrights to podcasts to classes. Here’s a glimpse at what some of them are offering and how recent events are changing them.


The pandemic has shut down local cinemas. Here’s a snapshot of what some are doing instead and how you can support them.


Books/Literary arts

As Seattle’s literary organizations face a fall without gatherings, they’re finding new ways to build community around books and writers — distantly.

Visual art

Some art galleries have been able to reopen over the summer, and fall finds local museums cautiously optimistic about reopening at reduced capacity. Here’s how just a few are preparing to welcome visitors back.


Local companies take a leap of faith and keep dancing — by moving entire seasons online. Here’s a snapshot of what two of them are doing.

Freelance writer Melinda Bargreen contributed to this report.