It’s hard to believe that a year ago, we still weren’t aware of what was coming. Many of us have lost income, a sense of safety, and most devastating of all, friends and loved ones. As we look to the light at the end of a long, dark tunnel, we know that for some there will be no return to a pre-pandemic normal. We grieve these losses together and we hope we can build a new future hand-in-hand as well.
On February 25, 2021, MA Gov. Charlie Baker announced that the state would move into Phase 3, Step 2 of its reopening plan on Monday, March 1, including indoor performance venues and recreational activities, allowing, venues like ātac to reopen at 50% capacity.
We are encouraged that this plan, driven by declining cases and increased vaccinations, will allow the arts community to return in full force in 2021. However, the Massachusetts Safety Standards for performance venues like ours still prohibits singing and advises against brass instruments. We also want to be transparent about the reality that, for ātac and many small venues like ours, opening at 50% capacity or less is not financially sustainable. The costs associated with staffed, live performances require a threshold of ticket sales we would be unlikely to meet under these guidelines.
Thanks to you, we have made it through an entire year without live shows in the venue! With so many beloved art centers and institutions struggling to persevere, it is a huge accomplishment just to be here. One we would not have believed possible a year ago. We are incredibly grateful to our community for supporting us through these challenges.
We will continue to stream free programs like our feature music performances, Process, Super Fun Mix Tape, and more through the end of June. A reminder that you can check out most of our programs right on the website.
For the first time in many years, we will have summer programming! Thanks to a generous grant from the MutualOne Charitable Foundation we will be screening a five-week outdoor movie series at The Plymouth Church featuring family classics like The Iron Giant, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, and The Secret of NIMH. We are so excited about this and other summer events in the works. Stay tuned for more details!
We are not out of the woods just yet. Yes, we have made it this far, but it could still be six to twelve months before we can open to full capacity. We are doing everything in our power to create programs, revenue, and partnerships that will ensure our success, but we still need your help!
We want to share an advocacy push for SD.2105: An Act to Rebuild the Commonwealth's Cultural Future. The bill would create a $200 million stabilization fund for the state’s cultural sector. The money for the fund would be allocated from any federal dollars Massachusetts receives this year for COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Please feel free to send the message template and/or add your own message, sharing why ātac and other performance and arts venues are such an important part of our culture, economy, and communities. It takes just a few minutes and makes a world of difference to organizations like ātac.
As always, thank you so much for supporting us over this past year. We are so grateful to remain an important part of the MetroWest arts and culture community and look forward to creating community through the arts with you for years to come.
Stay safe and we'll see you soon,
Jannelle Codianni, Executive Director and the entire ātac team