Liberty Theatre Hailey Dusk

The Liberty Theatre in Hailey, home of the Sun Valley Museum of Art's Company of Fools, has gone without live audience plays since the pandemic hit. SVMoA's artistic director will be part of a panel of arts nonprofit leaders discussing the impact of COVID-19 on the nonprofit community.

The outlook for local nonprofits approaching the tail end of a global pandemic will be the topic for weekly discussions scheduled through March 17 at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum, beginning Wednesday at 6 p.m.

The topic this week is “the arts,” with representatives from that sector of the nonprofit community in attendance. The free hour-long discussions with Q&A will be livestreamed from the stage of the Argyros’ Tierney Theater.

The events are produced by The Argyros, Dark to Light Productions, and the Spur Foundation, a philanthropic organization that analyzes local nonprofit organizations and directs donor funding.

Nonprofits contribute significantly to the culture, education and health of the Wood River Valley’s residents. They also create hundreds of jobs and heavily impact the local economy. Dozens of these organizations figure locally in large and small ways: chess clubs, food banks, library supporters, ballets, animal shelters and many more.

Spur Foundation Executive Director Sally Gillespie will moderate the weekly broadcasts on The Argyros' YouTube page. The 45- to 50-minute discussions will wrap up with a 10- to 15-minute Q&A session with questions submitted by the audience online.

Gillespie wrote in a recent Spur Foundation memo that it is tempting to think that vaccines and the coming spring have relieved the winter stresses of the pandemic.

“That is not the case,” the memo states. “The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated many systemic vulnerabilities in our community.”

The performing arts have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. Panelists Wednesday will include Sun Valley Museum of Art Artistic Director Kristin Poole, Sun Valley Music Festival Executive Director Derek Dean, and Argyros Executive Director Casey Wilder Mott. They will discuss how their organizations have navigated the past year.

“It’s been devastating,” Poole recently told the Mountain Express. “There are fears that across the nation half the live theaters could close down.”

Each week’s Wednesday roundtable will focus on a distinct nonprofit sector—the arts, education, and human serviceswith representatives from local nonprofits providing the insights.

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