Pro-Art announces 44th season, plans to proceed with care
concerned, we are also hopeful that we can minimize risk in order to hold several events this fall that would be permissible and safe.’
— Executive Director
Wise, VA — July of this year finds the Pro-Art Association on the threshold of it’s 44th season—one that looks much different from how Executive Director Jan Zentmeyer envisioned as she began booking shows for the upcoming season almost a year ago. “Sixteen public shows were scheduled and another eighteen school shows were planned for our Wise County, Lee County, Dickenson County, and City of Norton students,” Zentmeyer says.
Pro-Art had to cancel 10 school performances and six public performances in March and April of this year as a result of the pandemic. “We had hoped to reschedule a few of those performances but obviously, the restrictions on gathering and safety issues remain.”
Even with the Governor’s move to phase 3 on July 1, Zentmeyer is concerned that several of the shows scheduled for August, September, and October are unlikely to proceed as planned because of the expected audience size or the closeness of fixed seating. Unfortunately, the annual Symphony by the Lake at UVA Wise will not be held this year due to the necessitated close proximity of the musicians to each other. Symphony of the Mountains plans to be back in Wise on July 24, 2021 to continue the tradition of this beloved event.
“While we are concerned, we are also hopeful that we can minimize risk in order to hold several events this fall that would be permissible and safe.” Zentmeyer mentions a brass quintet performance from Symphony of the Mountains that she and Cornelia Laemmli Orth plan to host at an outdoor venue in mid-September in which both musicians and patrons can safely socially distance. “Shows in which we expect a large crowd or tight spacing for artists or audiences will likely need to be rescheduled for 2021. We are carefully examining available performance and audience spaces to see what events we can hold with modifications to our normal procedures. We have a piano concert utilizing the new Steinway D at UVA Wise scheduled for October 30 that will allow us to host a small live audience, and can perhaps be recorded or telecast for those unable to attend in person.”
Entering its 44th year, the organization continues to strive to provide a valuable service to the community by fulfilling its mission to promote the arts and expand accessibility to cultural experiences for the citizens and students of the region. “We absolutely want to continue our work— when it is safe for our patrons, artists, staff and crew. Health and safety must be priority one.” Zentmeyer says.
“When we do return to live theater and music,” Zentmeyer continues, “it will include masks, sanitizing, social distancing, and other precautionary measures. Pro-Art works with 10 venues and we realize that some of them will be more conducive to gatherings than others. We will make the changes necessary to continue to bring the arts to our area.”
Zentmeyer is beginning her fourth year as Executive Director, and she expects to make more decisions in the coming weeks and months concerning the upcoming season as we all continue to weather this storm. To stay up-to-date with all things Pro-Art, email email@example.com to join the organization’s mailing list, or follow Pro-Art on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @proartva.
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