Taking our cue from other similar institutions across the nation, Contemporary Art Center’s leadership have made a decision to hibernate the business during January-February. Read below about the reasons for hibernating and how you can help.
Reasons for Hibernation
COVID-19 numbers are expected to remain high after the holidays, and instead of waiting to be told to close, we elect to plan now for shutting down. Any events and exhibits planned during that time would likely have to be cancelled anyway or if they did take place, would not be very successful. Hunkering down, saving money and embracing full closure seems like the best path for now.
Better Use of Time
By planning ahead, our hibernation will be more successful. We have already sought quotes, guidance and have been investigating possibilities. Hibernating will provide less distractions to better focus on other tasks. We still plan to be very busy! Some of the projects we are considering are listed below.
What does business hibernation look like?
During the months of January and February, CAC will not offer any events or exhibits. We will not automatically turn on lights or unlock doors, but will still communicate, correspond, plan, open mail, pay bills; monitor and maintain the building; move forward on many projects; seek and process donations and memberships, etc. We will continue to be here regularly but with more flexible hours to facilitate projects and via appointments to receive visitors and deliveries, book dates, attend to our resident artists, etc. Resident artists will be encouraged to still use their spaces. In the last weeks of February, we will start to ramp up again as we install and promote new exhibits starting in March. By then, we may be able to resume open house events like an art reception and First Friday.
Possible Hibernation Goals/Projects
Updating the 25 year old air-conditioning system is long overdue. Installers will have freedom to do what has to be done without scheduling conflicts or getting in the way of something. In additions, we are considering adding air purification systems to make visitors safer from the virus.
Upgrade the Front Door
The front door to any place is so significant. The first floor exterior lobby door has to be removed and the bottom cut off. When the water main broke in front of the building a few years ago, it caused the ground to push upwards. The doors drag because of it, which is a security issue for the building. Most of the hardware is worn out. In the spring, we will need to repaint.
Tuck Pointing over a Window
While the entire building could use a tuck pointing over haul, there are a few spots that can’t wait. There is a brick arch over a 2nd floor window that needs attention. With no one around, this is another great opportunity to work on a messy project.
Replan for 2021
We learned a lot from holding events in 2020, so we are rethinking and rescheduling events, education, concerts and exhibits. Seeking sponsorship in advance to support the plans may be necessary.
Utilizing video and zoom meetings as an alternative to in person learning and entertainment is a good goal with the view to continue using it after the pandemic to promote, document and share our events.
Improve the Public Event Experience
To make the concert experience more consistent involves updating the stage lighting and sound system. Controlling the sound levels and quality is key to success in growing our audience. We now have a lot more competition than when the business started over 25 years ago, so we need to step up our game.
Consider alternative revenue sources
Considering an array of services to artists and collectors is promising. Using space in a different way is on the table. We are asking, “What is the opposite of events?”
If any of these goals/projects inspire questions, check writing, a desire to volunteer solutions, expertise or services, please contact us right away. While we usually project an upbeat attitude, the reality is that we are under-staffed and under-funded. There is room for anyone who loves Contemporary Art Center to pitch in.