Following guidance from RIDE and the state, we have made the decision to keep our physical programming closed through the end of the Spring session. Spring session typically runs through the first week of June, followed by a planning period for Summer session. With this in mind, we have our sights on being back in the studio in some capacity in time for the start of summer jobs in early July.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been out of the studio for seven weeks. In that time, we’ve been able to mobilize two rounds of basic needs/art supply kits. Within one week of closing, we had kits in the hands of youth members. We’ve recently gotten donations that will allow us to organize a third round of kits in May.
Beyond supplies, we’ve been continuing our Apprentice Program virtually, with Teaching Artists and Apprentices quickly coming together to make distance programming a success. We’ve also worked with our partner Nowell Leadership Academy to put on the first ever virtual Arts Week so students could earn a high school art credit. We also know that our support needs to go beyond the arts, so we created and shared a COVID-19 resource document.
While the physical closures must continue, we’re still very much active and so are our members. In May, we have some new virtual programming in the works, TBA. We also are accepting applications for summer jobs, keeping in mind that we may have to run the program differently than in past summers. Rest assured we’re planning for a number of situations, depending on how many people are allowed to gather safely during the summer. We will continue to post updates as the situation unfolds.