BAYarts kicks off summer
In spite of the having to cancel many of BAYarts' signature "stay-cation" summer events, the campus is now open.
"Of course we are biased," says BAYarts General Manager Beth Milli, "but we think BAYarts' campus is the best place in town to reconnect with friends and take in some culture while social distancing."
Typically in summer, the arts campus is open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and has thousands of visitors for concerts, festivals and the Thursday market. But while those are on hold and with fewer classes as we slowly reopen, there will be shorter hours and no weekends to start. "We want to make sure we are ready to address the flow of park visitors," says Milli. "We have seen record numbers of pedestrians since the COVID-19 shut downs. It'll be interesting what the summer weather brings."
With the mandate for social distancing and safety, BAYarts has been busy preparing. The popular local artists shop has expanded to allow for greater flow and is also available online for pick-up purchases. Although large gallery openings won't be happening for awhile, the Sullivan Gallery will still highlight local artists for in-person viewing and virtual exhibitions. "One thing we're excited about is Gallery Nights where groups of no more than 10 can see an exhibit and then have a boxed dinner and wine from one of our restaurant partners – a great night out for friends who aren't ready for crowded restaurants and can picnic in the park," says Milli.
BAYarts summer camps, where hundreds of youth participate in weeklong art-focused activities, will be replaced this year by smaller group classes later in the summer. In the meantime, "Art to Go" kits and "Camp in a Box" have been a popular alternative to much of the online and at-home programming families have been doing. The kits can be ordered online at bayarts.net for pick-up and can be done in the park in one of the many wide open spaces on BAYarts' campus.
"We are going to start slow," says Milli. "Our goal is to have a safe, fun, BAYarts style summer."
Karen Petkovic is BAYarts Artistic Director