Charles Donelan: Stories of 2020

Get Versed on Our Executive Arts Editor's Favorite Stories of the Year

Patricia Kopatchinskaja (L) and Adriana Arriaga | Credit: Julia Wesely and Daniel Dreifuss

Greetings friends, behold the function

Of rhyme and memory

A great conjunction.

The double two-oh has finally passed;

Its frightening aspects poised to last.

To summon a year that was like no other

Let’s lift a glass and unmute, my brother. 

To Tatsuo Miyajima, whose “Counter Ground”

Made LED blinks something profound,

And to Jay Campbell, the fellow whose cello

Lent so much fire

To Pat Kopatchinskaja.

Hail Roger Durling and Waterhouse, Claire!

Your film education has been more than fair.

Those crossing the border have no advocate smarter

Or more the patron than Jason De Leon.

Hats off to Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket

He sold out the Lobero before fate would lock it.

In the weeks that ensued, Covid dampened our mood.

Books of all lengths got read by the score

By authors Tania Israel, Chris Knowlton, and —who else? — Jill Lepore

These erudite companions made quarantine the occasion 

For a solitary pre-vaccine staycation.

The ban on live music that deprived us of notes 

Still could not stop us from messing with boats.

Right as the arts world was learning to pivot

KCRW’s “Life Examined”reminded us: “live it!”

Adriana Arriaga, Wosene Kosrof

These were the artists whose work got us off

Of our sofas and back to the galleries

Even when Covid had subtracted our salaries. 

Then the minds at Arts & Lectures 

Alert to moods and dark conjectures

In a time defined by future hexers

Raised our eyes to the promise of justice to come

Regardless of where your parents are from.

As we wait for the moment when together we play

Let’s take a cue from the State Street Ballet

Let new talents blossom and videos shatter— 

The distance between us? 

It just doesn’t matter.

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