1.30.21 | Dr. Melanie Corn, Letter to the Editor, Columbus

It's up to us to create a new Roaring Twenties

The Spanish Influenza has been on my mind lately. We heard a lot about the parallels between the 1918 pandemic and our COVID-19 crisis early on, and it's reemerged as we look ahead to what may come next.

Historians argue that an eagerness to return to a communal social life after years of staying indoors contributed to the flourishing art scenes and cultural revolutions of jazz, art deco, surrealism, the Harlem Renaissance and other important movements.

Can we be so lucky again? How can we contribute to the cultural renaissance of our next “Roaring Twenties?” Unlike a century ago, now we have a plethora of screens and at-home entertainment options that may placate us and slow our return to a public cultural life. But, without our return and the active support we all provide for the arts when we patronize galleries, museums, concert halls, and cinemas, creative organizations and practitioners will suffer and the Roaring Twenties —that would not only entertain us but employ us, inspire us, propel us — will not come to be.

Now that our exercise/guitar-learning/closet-cleaning resolutions are locked down (or already discarded), I hope you’ll ponder this question: How can I — and how can we as a community — not only hope for a new cultural renaissance, but actively manifest it?

Dr. Melanie Corn, President, Columbus College of Art & Design