Radkey (copy)

This photo shows members of the rock band Radkey.

The pandemic hit many industries hard, with local arts organizations, venues and bars taking huge bumps.

With a new year on the horizon, there’s reason for them to be hopeful. COVID-19 vaccines likely will roll out to the public by the summer. Once spring comes, outdoor venues can open back up with live performances.

We talked with several artists, organizers and bartenders about their hopes for 2021. Heres what some had to say:

“We’re hopeful that maybe by next summer, there’ll be a little bit of return to normalcy. But we’ll continue watching what’s going on in the world. We’ll continue listening to the health experts. We’ll continue trying to make good, safe, intelligent decisions, but also try and allow people to do some normal activities.”

— Chuck Kempf, director of St. Joseph Parks, Recreation and Civic Facilities

“My biggest hopes for 2021 is that (for) business owners, our passions for what we do stay strong. (For) our customers, a return to normalcy. Being able to make a comeback for all small businesses, (I hope) our customers return and no more masks. The mental fatigue, the anxiety I’ve been through and so many more, I hope we can find a sense of peace and happiness again.”

— Timmy Lawrence, co-owner of the Muny Inn

“Hopefully we can be back in the Missouri Theater again. I know our board and volunteers really miss being at the theater right now. And hopefully, once the vaccine is out and they call it all safe, the artists can start touring again and we could be back in our home at the Missouri Theater.”

— Beth Sharp, executive director of St. Joseph Performing Arts Association

“I’m hoping for a vaccine. I’m hoping for everyone to start feeling better and for us to all be able to have fun again safely. I’m ready for a scientifically safe, fun time to come back.”

— Isaiah Radke, bassist in Radkey

“I think 2021 is going to be a year we need to just take a day at a time. I think it’s important that we don’t put too much expectation on it because we’ll be disappointed, I’m afraid. I think we just have to try to maintain some kind of consistency and normalcy in our personal lives and to try to get back to the basics of just trying to be good people to each other ... At the very core, we’re all really pretty good people. And we could all be better if we encourage each other to do so.”

— Phil Vandel, country singer-songwriter

Andrew Gaug can be reached at andrew.gaug@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @NPNOWGaug

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