Ashtabula Arts Center Revised Mask Policy, effective June 2, 2021
In order to protect the many children & other vulnerable patrons in our building, the Ashtabula Arts Center will, at this time, continue to require that visitors wear face masks while indoors, or when seated in Straw Hat Theatre. However, anyone who wishes may show their COVID vaccine record at the front desk, or to a Straw Hat usher at a performance, and may go without a mask in our building and in Straw Hat Theater. We will still require masks to be worn behind the front desk. We have come to this decision based on the guidance of the Ashtabula County Health Department, and with consideration to our organizational values. We thank our patrons and visitors for their understanding and support.
If you are planning to submit artwork for the “Art in Isolation” exhibit, you have until Saturday to drop it off — if you don’t want to brave the snow today, you can wait until tomorrow or Saturday. We are closed to the public on Friday, but if you call us today at (440) 964-3396, we can set up a time for you drop off tomorrow. Saturday you can drop off between 9 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Due to the current situation in our county with COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel our Christmas Cabaret concert. As with Nutcracker, we have concerns about being able to rehearse the production safely.
At this time, we plan to hold private lessons, art classes, and our December Pop-Up Art Boutique as planned.
Thank you for your understanding.
We are seeking artists to submit work for two upcoming exhibits. “Art in Isolation” will be on display February 2021, and will feature art focused on and created during the COVID pandemic.
Get the application: artist entry form Art in Isolation
The 2021 Women’s Show will be on display in March 2021 and will feature work by women artists.
Get the application: artist entry form Women’s Show 2021
Many of you probably know that we’ve been working on an adapted production of The Nutcracker that we were going to make available via livestream. Today, we made the decision to cancel that production. We know this is a disappointment, but we don’t feel it’s safe or responsible to continue rehearsals given the level of community spread of COVID in our county. Our first priority is the safety of our students and patrons. The Arts Center isn’t going anywhere, and there will be a Nutcracker next year. We need everyone to stay healthy now so they can come back for it.
With that said, we need to offer some thanks for the work that has gone into this process, even though the final production won’t happen. First of all, thank you to our Ballet Theatre Ashtabula dancers. These kids have rolled with some pretty hard punches this year, and have met a really daunting set of extra challenges with flexibility and determination. We would have liked to be able to give them their Nutcracker, but hopefully they’ll be able to have their Spring Dance Concert. They are a fantastic group of young artists, and we’re so thankful we have them.
Next, thank you to Bob Lebzelter, our volunteer videographer, who gives us his time and skills for any video we ask of him. Thanks to Bob we’ll have some fun behind-the-scenes moments from the rehearsal process to share with you all.
Thank you to Mike Brenneman and Jayson Gage, who volunteered their time and knowledge to help us with the technical side of this year’s Nutcracker.
Thank you to Lea Nesbitt of Buckeye and Dave Miller of Lakeside, who gave so much of their time and expertise helping us produce the livestream.
And finally, thank you to Clover Robinson, our director of dance, who leads the charge on Nutcracker every year. Clover wanted her students to have as much of a technical, artistic experience as was possible this year, and did a lot of soul-searching to decide what was best for these kids at every step of the process.
Hang in there, everyone. That curtain is going to go up again. Stay safe.
Due to limited staff, the Arts Center’s hours will vary for the next two weeks. All private lessons will continue as scheduled, as will any visual arts workshops. If you will be visiting the Arts Center for reasons other than attending a class or lesson, please call (440) 964-3396 to confirm a staff member will be here to help you.
Art Wellness Workshop Series
with Heather Denning
This workshop series is designed to use art as a way to cope with stress and find greater wellness in the midst of the COVID pandemic. All materials will be provided and transportation support may be available; call (440) 990-1734 for more information or to register. (Please note that you do not register through the Arts Center for these workshops.) You can also register at accaa.org.
There is no cost to register, but space is limited and pre-registration is required. If you register, please plan to attend all 8 weeks.
COVID safety protocols will be observed.
We are very excited about this news! Thanks to a $5000 sponsorship from KeyBank Ashtabula supporting virtual learning, we are now able to offer scholarships for our virtual classes. This includes our current virtual offerings, and those that will be coming in our fall schedule (and possibly beyond). This sponsorship allows us to help those in our community who want to take part in virtual arts learning, but have faced financial difficulty during the COVID pandemic.
Aanyone registering for virtual classes can take advantage of this scholarship program. When you visit our website to sign up for a virtual class, you’ll see two options at checkout: “Tuition Cost” and “KeyBank Sponsored Scholarship.” If you are able to support us by paying the regular tuition cost, we’re very appreciative. If the scholarship option will help your family out, just select it at checkout, and the cost of the class or workshop will be covered. That’s all there is to it — no application, no process to qualify. If you need it, use it. We’ll make this option available for virtual classes as long as there are scholarship funds remaining. You can find our virtual classes here. This list will be expanded when our fall schedule of classes is set; those classes will be posted online in early August.
Many thanks to KeyBank for this sponsorship!
We are very happy to announce that the Arts Center will partially reopen on Monday, July 6, for in-person classes and some private music lessons. Our temporary operating hours will be Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Payments for classes and lessons should be made through our website, by phone, or by mailed check before the student’s start date — not in person. Our front desk will only be intermittently staffed.
We require anyone entering the building to wear a mask the entire time they’re inside, and to check in at the front desk. The kitchenette in the front of the building will be used only as a handwashing station (no food prep permitted — dancers, please note); we ask that everyone wash hands upon entry. Parents of students: unless your child requires assistance, please do not accompany them into the building for their class/lesson. If you or anyone in your household is sick/running a fever, please do not enter the building.
Class capacity will be lowered to allow for social distancing, and private music lessons will be held in large, alternate spaces rather than the music rooms, to maintain necessary space between students and teachers. We ask that all students arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before their lesson/class. At this time, voice lessons will remain virtual, as will string lessons with Carol Linsenmeier. Teaching spaces (pianos/benches/chairs/barres/tables) will be sanitized after each class/lesson. Spaces will be marked out to maintain distance.
Dancers: please wear a mask and bring a spare in case your first gets wet. Please arrive dressed for class, and bring a full water bottle marked with your name — the water fountains are shut off. Any snacks that you bring need to be ready-to-eat (granola bars, veggies, etc.) — the kitchen will be locked and the front microwave/fridge will not be in use. No hands-on correction will be given, and class will not include contact between dancers.
Our virtual classes now include Theater and Music classes! Find them here. Register online or at (440) 964-3396.
In a decision we know is going to be as disappointing to our supporters as it was for us, the Ashtabula Arts Center is officially cancelling our scheduled Straw Hat Theatre 2020 productions: Tuck Everlasting, Matilda, and The Secret Garden. Restrictions on gatherings necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic have made holding auditions and rehearsing shows impossible for the time being, and it’s still uncertain when it will be safe for theaters to reopen to audiences.
However, while producing and staging our usual theater shows may not be possible right now, we are looking into alternative programming for this summer. We’ll be posting updates on what will be happening here at the AAC this summer as that programming develops. In the meantime, we hope you’ll check out our schedule of remote classes and consider registering for one or two of them (or more, should the creativity bug bite you).
Should the situation change, and the opportunity arise for us to produce any of our summer shows, we will announce it, along with updated information on audition and production dates.
We are eagerly awaiting the day we can have our actors back on stage, our crews bustling in the wings, and our audiences in their seats. Be safe, friends. We miss you.