Sarasota Arts Groups Introduce New COVID-19 Safety Rules

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Sarasota’s living arts organizations have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

Canceled seasons and long-term closures have had a significant impact on what is one of Sarasota County’s three largest employment sectors.

Now, theater companies, concert halls, opera and orchestra have teamed up for the Safe Arts Sarasota uniform initiative.

Leaders of more than two dozen arts groups in Sarasota say they have heard from a growing number of patrons and artists who want safety protocols in place, and that failing to do so would put these organizations at risk of harm. close their doors again.

Nine of the region’s largest performing arts groups, including
Asolo Repertory Theater, Circus Arts Conservatory, Florida Studio Theater, The Hermitage Artist Retreat, Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera, Sarasota Orchestra, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and Westcoast Black Theater Troupe, first announced that they would follow a uniform set of safety protocols as a new cultural season begins.

Since then, dozens more have said they will do the same.

The measurements require customers 12 years of age and older to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of performance for a PCR test or within 24 hours for an antigen or rapid test.

To avoid testing measures, clients can prove that they have been fully immunized for at least 14 days prior to a performance or entrance.

All guests aged 6 and over must also wear masks at all times inside buildings.

In a group statement, the organizations said that “our industry has not been able to function normally since March 2020. Since the arts community is a major economic driver for Suncoast, our organizations are working together to ensure that our patrons can continue to safely. experience the joy of live performances, and we can keep our artists and staff employed.


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