Essay

An Open Letter to the Valley Creative Community

If we can't be together like this, let's find a different way.
If we can't be together like this, let's find a different way. Leavitt Wells
Dear members and friends of the Phoenix creative community:

I wish you were here under different circumstances — reading a feature about a local artist, say, or an interview with a musician blowing through town.

The coronavirus has changed all that. Rather than focusing, as we love, on the music and art that brings together the Valley, we've been bombarded with one cancellation after another.

The cancellations are the right thing to do to protect each other during this uncertain time. But it's hard. The last week has been particularly difficult for me, and I know how hard so many of you work to make ends meet while pursuing creative endeavors. And I know that others are already missing the freedom to go out to forget the difficulties of life for a few hours with friends. Sometimes you want to hear or see something that makes you feel less alone. I love those moments when a sculpture, painting, or performance transforms my way of thinking. But right now, that's not possible.


Music and art are still happening around us. They're just not happening in a club, gallery, or arena at the moment. That means, for the time being, Phoenix New Times will be shifting its focus a little bit in terms of our coverage.

We still want to share these the stories of Phoenix's artists — particularly in the face of these weird and uncertain times. Without physical spaces to congregate, I want our music and arts sections to become one of the places Valley creatives can gather to feel connected. 

So, talk to me. You can share stories about your first concert, or the moment you knew you were meant to be an artist, or the details of your next project. It's not a stage or a museum, but I'd like these sections to be a space where the community can get together and communicate about arts, music, and life.

Let's talk. Feel free to email your ideas at [email protected], and please be kind to each other out there.
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Jason Keil was the Phoenix New Times culture editor from August 2019 to May 2020.
Contact: Jason Keil