At 11:05 a.m. on March 9, 2021, Nanci Charpentier, a member of the Baton Rouge Plein Air painters group, painted the colorful corner of Third Street and Florida Street downtown. Photo by Sean Gasser.

From the editor: Step behind the scenes as we capture creatives in action in ‘A Day in the Life of the Arts’

Kelli Bozeman inRegister 2020

The list of little things we haven’t been able to fully enjoy over the past year is long, and there’s hardly an area of life it doesn’t touch. Take, for example, the theater. To me, one of the most thrilling moments of the experience of attending a play or concert happens before the curtains rise. The usher points you to your seat. You settle in with a Playbill and some peanut M&M’s, and then you hear it: oboes and violins and cellos start to purr as the orchestra tunes up. As the hum grows louder, the feeling of anticipation builds. You know something exciting is about to happen.

In some ways, it’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed since the last edition of inRegister’s “A Day in the Life of the Arts” issue. On the day in early March 2020 that we called upon a group of local photographers to capture images of performers and visual artists around the city, they had no trouble finding the sights and sounds of creativity and craft in action. In addition to our homegrown talent, the April 2020 issue included photos of quite an assortment of out-of-town talent playing in our local venues, from Trisha Yearwood to Jeff Foxworthy to Snoop Dogg.

Days after our 2020 photographic odyssey, COVID-19 came knocking on Baton Rouge’s door, forcing these very venues to turn off their lights, and forcing our city’s performers and artists to retreat to safe havens far from the public eye. Orchestras were quieted. Theater curtains would not rise again for many months.

But even in the stillness, creatives could not keep their lights from shining. They found new ways to share their art with fans and friends in a virtual realm. Museums pushed out digital tours and online educational programming. Audiences learned to love watching live concerts through their computer screens. Should we have expected anything less?

The cover of the April 2021 issue, featuring dancer Kamryn Johnson of Nyama Contemporary Dance Company. Photo by Jordan Hefler.

Even so, we are thankful that on March 9, 2021, as inRegister once again sent out four photographers all around the city, what they discovered was a flame of creativity that not only refused to be damped down but was burning brighter than it has in so many months. Restaurant patios had become concert halls. Dance classes were drawing happy children again. And yes, stage curtains were rising once more. As our city and country climb out of a year of isolation, Baton Rouge’s arts community is ready to welcome them once again.

Discover the images our photographers captured on that one ordinary, extraordinary day in this story from inRegister’s April 2021 issue, available on newsstands now.

Can’t you hear it? Something exciting is about to happen.