7 films that capture artistic projects from the early days of the pandemic

7 films that capture artistic projects from the early days of the pandemic

The ALL ARTS broadcast channel and streaming app have plenty of arts-related shows and films to choose from, including original productions and archival content.

When the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, artists faced a number of hardships, including closed venues, cancelled shows and isolation. The following documentaries, shows and performances showcase the creativity and adaptability of artists and highlight some of the works created during this period.

As always, you can watch the following list of features online or on the ALL ARTS app wherever you may stream. For more, be sure to tune in to the ALL ARTS broadcast channel Oct. 3 for a marathon of films focused on artistic innovation during the pandemic.

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Isolation to Creation

Amidst the pandemic, Works & Process at the Guggenheim produced performing arts creative bubbles so artists could work safely. The series “Isolation to Creation” goes behind the scenes to experience the hope, joy and challenges experienced by artists returning to the studio and stage. The series features artists such as Ephrat Asherie, Les Ballet Afrik, Joshua Bergasse, Sara Mearns, Missing Element, Music from the Sole and Jamar Roberts.

Flowstate /North Brooklyn Artists

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in New York City last summer, artists faced mounting challenges. In addition to issues of limited space and high rents already plaguing many living in the city, the health crisis resulted in widespread unemployment and show cancellations. Hosted by Ralf Jean-Pierre and Sophia Kayafas, the ALL ARTS documentary series “Flowstate /North Brooklyn Artists” explores what it means to be an artist during the summer of 2020.

In the first episode of the series, featured above, it’s July 2020 during the first wave of the pandemic. Psychotropics and politics meet when Kayafas visits Fred Tomaselli to talk about art and his ever-changing Williamsburg neighborhood.


The second season of “IMMERSIVE.WORLD” spans site-specific shows presented during the COVID-19 pandemic, immersive music and more. In the video above, go behind the scenes to understand how different artists and collectives used technology to hone their craft and connect with audiences.

Rufus Wainwright – Unfollow The Rules: The Paramour Session

“Rufus Wainwright – Unfollow the Rules:  The Paramour Session” presents the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter performing songs from his album “Unfollow the Rules,” along with other music. It was filmed in a beautiful ballroom at the famed Paramour Mansion in Los Angeles.

Under the Greenwood Tree

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in the spring of 2020, the Public Theater was preparing to remount its 2017 Public Works production of “As You Like It.” The documentary “Under the Greenwood Tree” charts the development of the musical, which brought together more than 200 amateur performers across New York City.

I See You and You See Me

Completed in partnership with the Queens Public Library system and the Queens Memory Project, this film was written and directed by Harris Doran of Queens. Based on material submitted to the Queens Memory Project oral history archive, the program tells the stories of Queens residents during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dancers Across the U.S. Unite in Chain Letter

In this episode of “If Cities Could Dance,” performers from across the country pass along movement from one dancer to the next in a work inspired by Mitchell Rose’s “Exquisite Corps” chain letter. The piece is narrated by poet Chinaka Hodge.