Arts Groups Adapt Opening Plans After Delta Variant Changes the COVID Landscape

Last spring, local arts groups were optimistic about the 2021-22 season. The Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Pacific Symphony, South Coast Repertory and other large institutions were planning a gradual return to normal programming. The Philharmonic Society, whose website announces its season with the bold words "together again," scheduled large groups such as the Russian National Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra for early 2022, banking on full houses for its most expensive programming. The mood reflected a growing national consensus that waning infection rates showed COVID-19 was finally on the decline.

Then came summer, and the rise of the Delta variant. By the middle of July, it was becoming clear that we hadn't seen the last of social distancing and other restrictions on public life. Arts groups were forced to rethink their programming plans, often after they'd pulled the trigger on contracts and commitments.

We asked several of Orange County's arts leaders how they're coping with the latest COVID complications. They also talked about the long-term effects of a pandemic that stubbornly refuses to go away.

Arts Communities in OC and LA Mourn the Passing of Paul Musco

The recent announcement of S. Paul Musco's passing is a reminder that a crucial generation of local arts philanthropists is fading from the scene.

Panoringan: COVID-19 Sends OC Restaurant Workers Packing for Other Industries

The feelings that come to mind when one thinks about COVID often involve negativity, frustration and loss. But for some individuals, the past 18 months resulted in a change for the better – a silver lining, if you will.

In response to the Delta variant of COVID-19 and the latest health and safety guidance, many major O.C. performing arts venues and organizations have announced that guests at their events will be required to wear masks and confirm that they are vaccinated in order to attend. Be sure to check directly with the venue for their requirements before going. The arts in Orange County are re-awakening, but your cooperation and safe participation as audience members is essential! Arts Orange County is proud to recommend a variety of both in-person and virtual ways to bring the arts into your life. 


Cabaret Series: Laura Benanti

The Tony-winning actress and singer makes her debut in the beloved Cabaret Series at Segerstrom Center for the Arts with an evening of laughter and song tonight and Saturday  DETAILS »


26th Annual Balboa Island Artwalk

Over 90 artists will have their work on-display at this much-anticipated annual outdoor festival of art and music on the sunny and splendid Balboa Island  DETAILS »


Harvest Festival of Dulcimers

Concerts, workshops, and group jams are all part of the online offerings at this annual celebration of the dulcimer, ukulele, tin whistle, and other joyful instruments  DETAILS »


Circus Bella

The Laguna Beach Arts Commission presents a free outdoor performance by aerialists, acrobats, jugglers, clowns, and musicians - fun for the whole family  DETAILS »


Pacific Symphony Concert & Fantasia

The Symphony's Chamber Ensemble will perform live to kickoff this free outdoor screening of Disney's legendary animated celebration of music, presented by The Frida Cinema  DETAILS »

Editor's Note: This email newsletter is provided in partnership from Voice of OC, Orange County's nonprofit newsroom, and Arts OC, the officially designated nonprofit arts agency for the County of Orange, CA. Together we are proud to share the latest arts and culture news and curated events listings. Our readers can rely upon stories by established arts journalists and events from the largest Orange County database of arts and cultural events, workshops, jobs, individual artists, organizations and venues.

Voice of OC is Orange County's nonprofit newsroom with a mission to consistently deliver fair, focused and thorough journalism on critical quality of life and local issues for Orange County communities.

Arts Orange County builds appreciation of, participation in and support for the arts and arts education throughout Orange County. Event information provided by SparkOC, an Arts OC program.