In Columbia and everywhere, the arts community was hit hard by COVID-19, with 2020 becoming a year full of canceled performances and scraping to make financial ends meet. As the year draws toward an end, the artists are beginning their comeback.

Sunday night in the Vista, the Koger Center for the Arts gathered performers from many local organizations to put on a special show to raise money for their groups with the first Live on Lincoln.

The outdoor event in the 1200 block of Lincoln Street outside the Blue Marlin offered guests dinner provided by the Blue Marlin and as eclectic a show as anyone is likely to see, with a wide variety of talent.

Performers from the Columbia Classical Ballet, ColaJazz, the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Columbia City Ballet, the Bruch Chamber Orchestra, the Columbia Children’s Theatre, the Palmetto Opera, Trustus Theatre, Town Theater and the University of South Carolina School of Music and Department of Dance shared the stellar bill, offering something for every lover of the arts.

“We’ve missed live shows so much this year, and this one is just unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It was really fantastic,” said Kailey Haas, who attended with her husband and twin sons.

All proceeds raised Sunday will directly support the participating organizations as they navigate the devastating effects of the pandemic.

Safety measures for the outdoor event included one-way entrances and exits, staggered departures, limited capacity with guests in groups of four at socially distanced tables, masks required for anyone not seated at a table or performing, and a limited number of tickets sold.

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