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Message from VCA ED Allison Halstead Reid

Dear friends and arts supporters,

I wanted to take a moment to let you know what Vashon Center for the Arts is doing in light of the COVID-19 situation in our region – specifically, to share with you how we are proceeding forward in these uncertain times. I have been in touch with many arts organizations and performance centers in the past week, and we are staying apprised of the latest news issued from our local officials and state agencies.
It is an understatement to say that we are all heartsick to find ourselves in this predicament. As someone who loves the arts, loves music, loves students rehearsing, and seeing a joyful gathering of art enthusiasts come together, I do not wish to see our doors ever close. But, like other theaters, it may become a reality in the coming days. I hope that it does not. If it should come to pass, let us hope it is a brief and temporary situation. Vashon could not be the island it is without the amazing collective group of creatives and supporters that have made us a beacon for the arts.

Here are some important things to know:

  • Vashon Center for the Arts remains open and we will continue with our scheduled programming.
  • If state officials require venues like us to temporarily close, you will be notified via email as well as through our social media that we will obey any government mandates.
  • Our education program (Arts Ed, Dance & Vashon Artists in Schools) will take the lead from the Vashon Island School District – if they close the public schools, we will follow suit.
  • We are adhering to the direction of Seattle & King County Public Health, and taking extra precautionary measures by providing hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes throughout the VCA campus. Additionally, our custodial staff is routinely disinfecting commonly touched surfaces, such as doorknobs and handles.
  • As a further measure, we are instructing all students attending our late-start or after-school programs to wash their hands upon arriving at the Blue Heron Education Center, and we will ask them to do so a second time before they leave the building. 
  • We have modified our refund/exchange policy as detailed on our website. We imagine our patrons and students are thinking carefully about attending performances or classes. In light of the public’s concerns regarding COVID-19, we want you to know that we will honor exchanges, refunds, and encourage our supporters to consider making a tax-deductible donation to VCA.
  • We are advising anyone who is unwell or exhibiting symptoms to stay home and contact their physician.
  • We encourage you to notify our Box Office at 206-259-3007 or class Registrar at 206.259.3005 if you do decide you cannot attend a performance or class. 
At VCA, we are committed to prioritizing the health of our students, audience, artists, volunteers and staff. Your well-being and safety are most important. As you know, we are unique in our programming and services. Not only do we have concerts and performances, but we also teach and offer Arts Education and Dance classes year-round. We have a fine art gallery that is open daily showcasing local artists’ works, and we bring our Vashon Artists in Schools program to island students throughout the school year. Our response to these crises must take into account the many services we provide and all the constituents we serve

I urge those of you who are willing and able to continue to support the arts on Vashon – whether in attendance or in spirit. I will continue to attend performances and visit exhibits and I believe it is important for all of us to continue our participation to the best of our abilities.
At this time, most VCA performances and classes are happening as scheduled. A few events and productions have been postponed at the request of performers or partners. In these cases, we have worked quickly to notify ticket buyers directly. You can find the most up-to-date information on our website. If the status of an event changes, we’ll update our website first, and then contact patrons/students through email or by phone. Then we will update our other communication portals such as Facebook and Vashon Events as quickly as we’re able. 

We are all part of a very close-knit community and care deeply about doing the right thing in support of one another. At VCA, each member of our staff is an essential part of our family, our team. They are working diligently and handling this situation with amazing grace. I want you to know that the care and understanding they are exhibiting along with their utmost professionalism, deserve high praise. I am grateful for their service.

Finally, I want to thank you all for your patience, understanding, and your commitment to support the arts on Vashon Island. The coming weeks and months will be extremely challenging for all non-profit organizations. Ensuring the arts stay vibrant, strong and an essential part of Vashon’s makeup will depend on us all.
In gratitude,

Allison Halstead Reid
Executive Director, Vashon Center for the Arts