The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation for the world. In Ketchikan, as cases of the virus begin to emerge, the situation suddenly becomes much more real. Our thoughts go out to those families who are affected and we are hoping for the very best outcome.
The arts have always responded to crises boldly, sometimes with humor, sometimes with heartbreak, and sometimes for the greater good. I have no doubt the situation in which we have found ourselves will be no different.
For its part, the Arts Council takes the stand that we are a community, we will take care of our friends and neighbors, and Ketchikan will make it through this together. As per the Governor’s most recent mandate, the Main Street Gallery will close its doors to visitors until April 1st. The Arts Council has canceled our Saturday Morning ART classes, and we have postponed our Arts Uncorked and Stories at Latitude 56 events until a time when it is safe for groups to gather again.
On Wednesday, March 25th at 5:30pm the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council will hold our Annual Meeting on Facebook LIVE from the Arts Council’s Facebook page! This meeting is usually brief but necessary to fulfill our bylaws and to allow the public to know everything about the workings of this nonprofit organization. We will have the 2019 Annual Report up on our website prior to the meeting.
The Main Street Gallery’s April exhibit, “exhale. click. release. meditations with camera” by Brooke Ratzat will open as scheduled on April 3rd, in a special ONLINE virtual experience. The video will go live on the Arts Council’s Facebook page at 5:00pm on Friday, April 3rd. In addition, you will be able to view Brooke’s exhibit video, images, and purchase her artwork on the Arts Council website beginning at 5:00pm on the 3rd, through April 24th. There will be no reception at the Main Street Gallery.
As you know, the cessation of all gatherings means artists and arts organizations are among the industries that are absorbing a very serious negative impact. Even so, arts organizations in Ketchikan have responded quickly by either eliminating programming or postponing it, including Ketchikan Theatre Ballet, the Ketchikan Community Concert Band, the Ketchikan Community Chorus, The Ketchikan Orchestra Project, Windjammers, The Monthly Grind, and First City Players.
Although we don’t know when restrictions will release our community, it is vital to be planning for the future and to celebrate art and relationships on the other side of this pandemic. Which is why we are continuing to accept Blueberry Arts Festival Logo submissions and proposals for the 7-7-7 Pop Up exhibits, continuing to plan for upcoming Main Street Gallery openings, and continuing to plan for events such as the Celebration of the Sea Art Walk and the Blessing of the Fleet, as well as the Blueberry Arts Festival itself. We may need to delay dates that have historically been synonymous with those events, but this is a time for flexibility if ever there was one!!!
The Arts Council will reassess continuously and communicate as needed via email, Facebook, and on our website. We are anxious for everyone to stay safe and to remember to care for each other. Please, cover your mouth when you cough, and wash your hands. And remember, the toilet paper you horde today could be the toilet paper your neighbor needs tomorrow.