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Lockdown unlocked culture for all



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With audiences unable to attend performances, exhibitions and festivals in person, in 2020, arts institutions turned to the internet to reach their audiences.

What was lost in ticket sales was made up in audience numbers and diversity, as people, bored at home, lapped up culture from their laptops.

Art Basel went online, reaching a far broader audience than the rarefied art fair usually does. Families sat down together to watch National Theatre productions, and innovative new pieces were created in response to lockdown, such as New York theatre company Fake Friends’ new play Circle Jerk – a comedy that interrupts its livestream with searing internet memes.

When we find ourselves in times of trouble, we turn to art to find connection, meaning and reassurance. During lockdown, the world’s arts institutions have found new ways to serve new audiences – while allowing people to support them during challenging economic times.

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