A Message from the Ozark Arts Council’s Board of Directors

Dear Friends of the Arts,

The Ozark Arts Council’s purpose is always “To enrich lives by promoting the Arts in Harrison and North Arkansas through exhibitions, performances, and education” because we truly believe our vision statement to be true: “Equal access to the Arts builds a vibrant, healthy community.” We carry out our mission, of course, by our stewardship of the historic Lyric Theater and by the organizational and programming support that we are able to provide our Member Organizations as they bring the Arts to our North Arkansas community.

To keep providing the Arts to you and with you, we need to make sure that everything we do keeps your health and safety in focus, as well. From the food and beverages we serve and the environment we establish being in accord both with the regulations and best practices of the ADH (and its Boone County Health Unit), ABC, HFD (and its fire code enforcement especially as it pertains to historic buildings), HPD, and the statutes and ordinances of our County and City, to recognizing when something even more radical has to be done for the wellbeing of you, our members and patrons, and for society at large.

Because of this, and at the recommendation of our city, we postponed our March production of Nunsense II—which proved to be prescient, as Albert Cummings, who was to perform the evening that play closed, postponed his entire tour the very next day. While Boone County’s infection rate started very slowly, the number of people who were coming from what we later learned would be early hotspots means that this early inconvenience may have helped to some extent in keeping our area from being one of the ones slammed early by multiple cases.

As we are starting to reopen, we are doing so in a way that may seem overly-cautious to some, but in a way that will, we believe, give great comfort to the large number of our usual patrons who are in one or more ‘high risk’ groups for COVID-19…some of which are things that will also make us a safer venue in future times of widespread viral infections such as, even, the seasonal flu…for instance, our conversion to completely touchless hand soap and towel dispensing in our restrooms. Even with the uneasiness that typically comes with ‘opening night’, our all-volunteer staff won high praise from at-risk members of the audience when we premiered Always a Bridesmaid on Thursday, June 25, and we hope only to make everything both safer and more seamless as we move forward.

Just wanted to express how impressed we all were last night at the precautions taken at the theatre. [One member of our party] had been a little concerned about going. He has been working from home and only going grocery shopping in mask at Hudson’s. He said after coming in, being screened and seeing the precautions being taken, he felt safe! We all agreed how great it was to come to live theatre and feel comfortable.

 — Mary Bishop

If you have questions or concerns, please email info@ozarkartscouncil.org or call 870-391-3504 and give us your name, number, and a “short, but detailed” message, so that we can get back to you with an answer/solution/etc., in the most efficient and conscientious way possible.

The ADH Requirements

  • Patrons must be required to wear a mask if over 10 years of age.
  • Every patron’s temperature must be checked upon entrance and will be asked several questions pertaining to travel and health. Patrons will not be able to enter if:
    • They have fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell.
    • They have had known exposure to someone with Covid-19 in the past 14 days.
  • A 6-foot gap must be maintained between patrons who do not “shelter together,” so only groups with family members should get tickets with adjoining seats. If you plan on going with anyone who does not live in the same household with you, please call 870-391-3504 for our help on getting you seats as close together as possible, while still allowing for the “social distancing” regulations.
  • We are allowed to serve refreshments, so our concession stand and the upstairs Immortal BarD will be open. However, we will have signs posted reminding patrons to keep a 6 foot distance, and we will not be able to accommodate clustering of groups at the counters.
  • Though it is a tradition at the Lyric to allow audience members to come up and greet the cast at the end of plays, we will forego this for now to keep the required 12 feet of distance between those on stage and those in the audience. If you wish to tell the cast “good job!” we will have a digital guestbook set up where you can leave your well wishes!

If you have any questions about how we are protecting our volunteers, or about any of the guidelines, please don’t hesitate to call 870-391-3504 or send an email here.

Thank you for supporting the Arts and please be safe and healthy!

2 thoughts on “An Update from the OAC about Postponements and Ne Due to Coronavirus”

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