MIDDLETOWN – The show must go on! With that in mind, the Middletown Arts Center (MAC) is being creative and giving people in the community a chance to express their love for the performing arts.
On June 26, the MAC will present a virtual talent show that will be streamed through YouTube.
Managing Director Jake Oliver said the MAC staff has worked hard to adapt to the restrictions associated with the 2020 coronavirus pandemic and are creating innovative solutions to spread the arts message to the community during this time.
“This type of talent show is nothing quite like what we have ever done before,” he said. “It’s a new thing for us. It’s a way to see people and give them the opportunity to show their love for performing and the arts.”
Individuals of all ages are being encouraged and are eligible to participate in the talent show. Each person will be asked to submit a two- to three-minute video that shows their talent.
Applicants may visit www.middletownarts.org for guidelines and submission forms. Each applicant may submit one video entry. The deadline for video submissions is 11:59 p.m. June 20. Questions about the talent show may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers said the video submissions that are accepted will be produced into a video that will be shown live on the MAC YouTube channel at 7 p.m. June 26.
The individual who is selected as the winner of the virtual talent show will receive a $100 gift card from Whole Foods Market and a MAC gift card and T-shirt.
To determine a winner, audience members will be able to cast anonymous votes through a portal set up by the MAC. Three finalists will be revealed. All proceeds and donations for the show will go to the Back To MAC fundraiser.
Oliver said the MAC has seen an unprecedented loss of revenue because of the pandemic and needs support from the community to get back on track.
“We need help from the community to contribute to our operating costs during this time until we can open,” he said.
The uncertainty of holding summer camp programs is another hurdle the MAC is trying to overcome.
“Camps are a big part of our program and that will be hard to replace if we cannot hold any this year,” Oliver said.
Gov. Phil Murphy announced on May 29 that day camps can open on July 6, but must follow certain guidelines.
Oliver said camps are a developing situation and said the MAC is awaiting guidance to determine if camps will be offered this summer. He expressed optimism that some programs will be able to take place. The MAC staff is working with local and state officials to plan for camps, classes and performances.
“The MAC is a state-of-the-art facility. We will do our best to sanitize our equipment and follow the guidelines step by step to hold programs for the community,” he said.
Items to be considered in a potential reopening of the MAC include the number of people who will be permitted to attend a show, spacing audience members and a barrier to separate performers and audience members.
When the day comes for the MAC to reopen, Oliver said, he believes it will be a good thing for the staff to know the center can open its doors to the public and provide people with a safe environment in which to enjoy their love of the arts and performance.