What is happening in a performing arts school during COVID'19?
Fidartes is a school of performing arts located in Mexico City. Fidartes crew is facing a new way of teaching as a result of the COVID-19. They had to adapt and now they do online teaching, but it is also a new way to learn for the teacher themselves. Before the pandemic teachers and students gathered in their school building where they could sing, dance, and act at the same time. Now, most of the meetings happen through zoom but that is a challenge.
Performing arts often involve physical contact, but now it is impossible to do. People working for performing arts had to innovate and find a new way of teaching and performing through online media. After the in-person classes were stopped in Fidartes, some students didn’t join the classes anymore. Edna Paulet, a musical and acting teacher in Fidartes says that “We lost some students because they either didn’t want to take the classes or couldn’t afford them anymore. That is how we have been affected most.” Many people lost their jobs, or they have financial difficulties, so paying for these online classes were not a priority anymore.
However, the show must go on. Estefanía Gómez, founder and director of Fidartes, and the Fidartes teachers had to find a new way to keep this school running. Firstly, they lowered the class price, but they realized that many people were not able to afford classes, yet they were still interested in the school. “We started a series of masterclasses free of charge where they would still learn and keep them close to us.” The new way of learning for students would be free once a week, and it was not only Fidartes teachers. Every week during these masterclasses they invite people working in the industry in Mexico City, but also from other parts of the world including people working in Broadway.
There is no date yet when Fidartes will be able to reopen again, but they are doing what they can now. Estefanía has in mind a new plan for the upcoming months. They will do online plays where students will be able to perform. They will be free of charge, and it is a compromise that the Fidartes team has on the mind because they want to grow and support their community.