As our state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, we want you to know that the Minnesota State Arts Board is concerned about the health and safety of everyone who works in the arts sector, and the health and safety of the participants, audience, and community members who we serve.
There are many unknowns about COVID-19, and its physical, economic, and emotional impacts are changing rapidly. We wanted to share the best information we have at this moment, and will provide new information as we receive it.
What’s happening in Minnesota
As of today, there are 14 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in our state. So far, cases have been confined to eight counties: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Ramsey, Stearns, Wright. Fortunately, there have been no deaths; only 2 of the 14 patients are hospitalized.
Today, Governor Walz announced an executive order that declares a peacetime emergency which he described as opening a tool kit that can be ready if and when needed.
In addition, the Minnesota Department of Health announced a set of recommended community mitigation strategies to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The strategies should be implemented immediately and stay in effect until further notice.
Two strategies will specifically impact arts activities:
– Postpone or cancel large events where 250 people or more would gather
– Postpone or cancel smaller events (fewer than 250 people) that are held in venues that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person
The full list of recommended strategies is available here:
Rely on trusted sources
The Minnesota Department of Health is the focal point of planning and information in our state. MDH is updating its Web site frequently. The coronavirus section of the site contains helpful information and advice about COVID-19 and precautions you can take.
The Centers for Disease Control also has helpful information about the virus and about steps to take to keep homes, workplaces, and commercial establishments safe.
We will post some additional, arts specific resources and links on the Arts Board Web site. If you are an Arts Board applicant, grantee, or grant review panelist, Arts Board staff members are available to respond to your questions. We know that COVID is having an impact on your activities and want to be as helpful as we can be.
Current grant activities – If you need to reschedule or modify Arts Board funded activities, please contact your program officer to discuss your options for a contract amendment or extension.
Information sessions – We have sessions scheduled in Winona and Park Rapids in the coming weeks. At the moment, those will go forward as planned, but we are closely monitoring the situation and will postpone or modify the format, if need be.
FY 20201 grant application review meetings – The Arts Board is scheduled to begin Operating Support, Arts Learning, and Minnesota Festival Support grant application panel review meetings in late April, May, and June. At this point, we haven’t made any changes to the schedule and format for those meetings, but we will be closely monitoring the situation and, if needed, may make changes in the coming weeks.
This situation is new for all of us. Please keep the lines of communication open. Please let us know what your questions and concerns are, and we will do what we can to address them.
Most importantly, please do everything you can to stay healthy, and to help others stay healthy.