Many schools, businesses and other parts of our lives have struggled with the pandemic, and most of us are trying to help organizations and people affected by COVID-19. Another one to think about: the arts.

Fine arts is a broad category, including music, painting, crafts, visual arts, theater, dance, movie-making, sculpture, poetry and others. Participating in fine arts includes both the creation of the art and the enjoyment by others.

Concerns about COVID-19 have canceled many concerts, plays, movie screenings and exhibits. As observers, we've missed so much, although some arts have been presented in new manners, such as livestreamed concerts or virtual tours.

Locally, we think about arts at Dakota State University, Madison Central Schools and the Madison Area Arts Council. All are doing their best to continue practicing, creating and performing within health safety limits. We're impressed with the enthusiasm displayed by faculty, students and members of the community.

A new sculpture exhibit at the Mundt Library on the DSU campus entitled "Shadow Casting" is open to the public, with a maximum of five people allowed at a time in the exhibit room. The Madison High School band participated in marching exhibitions during the fall semester. The DSU Drama Club will present a live "in-person" radio play at the Dakota Prairie Playhouse on Friday and Saturday. Facemasks and social distancing are required.

There are many other fine arts in Madison and Lake County this year. We need to remember to encourage and support them in any way we can.

-- Jon M. Hunter