July 15, 2020

Thanking Organizers, Community for Success of Virtual Princeton Festival

To the Editor:

The Princeton Festival has just wrapped up Virtually Yours, one month of performing arts events presented entirely online. On behalf of the Festival’s Board of Trustees, I would like to thank the Festival’s Executive and Artistic Director Richard Tang Yuk, his hard-working staff, and our dedicated volunteers for creating a spectacularly successful replacement for our regular June season of live performances. Thanks to them, and to the creativity of our passionate artists, we were able to fulfill our mission of bringing world-class performing arts to our community in spite of the challenges and limitations of a global pandemic.

Creating Virtually Yours threw us into the deep end of a pool of new technologies. But these tools enabled us to enlist artists, musicians, and poets in countries from around the world, including Japan, Hong Kong, the U.K., Spain, and Trinidad and Tobago in addition to the U.S. They also allowed our programming to reach far beyond our traditional audiences.

All told, Virtually Yours made nearly 50 events available online, free of charge, ranging from live events streamed out of artists’ homes to opera performances from our archives, plus recordings of past concerts broadcast by our partner WWFM, The Classical Network. There were also online lectures by distinguished local scholars, podcast interviews with esteemed artists, and a live panel discussion on the future of Princeton’s performing arts community with representatives of Princeton Pro Musica, Trenton Children’s Chorus, Westrick Music Academy, the Princeton Singers, Bohème Opera NJ, and WWFM.

Considering the immense hardship the pandemic brought to a great many of our fellow citizens, we were especially gratified by the continuing support for our mission by our donors and patrons. We thank them most sincerely. We were also humbled by the overwhelmingly positive response to Virtually Yours from the Princeton community and newfound friends across the nation and beyond.

The future of the performing arts is uncertain. No one knows when it will again be possible to present large public performances safely. But the need for the arts in our community has not diminished. As long as that is true, the Princeton Festival will find a way to meet that need. We thank our community for its support, and look forward to serving it in the future, virtually or in person.

Benedikt Von Schröder
Board Chair, The Princeton Festival