March 23, 2020
When I arrived at the Fine Arts Center last summer, I never could have imagined such an unprecedented global event forcing us to cancel the rest of our 2019-2020 programming. With the health and safety of our community our top priority, this decision was necessary. We are grateful for your support during this challenging time, from those who generously donated their tickets back or exchanged them for a gift certificate, and a few who have reached out in anticipation of subscribing next year.
For 45 years, the Fine Arts Center has operated under the singular vision to be a gathering place, connecting our campus and local community to the world through the richly diverse, transformative power of the arts. Today, as many of us live our days inside, on still, silent streets, experiencing life beyond our walls primarily through windows and screens, it may be difficult to hold onto that feeling of connection.
Now more than ever, we need the arts to remind us that the world, indeed, is not only big and wondrous but that we still have access to it.
Even with our doors temporarily closed, we are committed to keeping the arts and its power to connect us vibrant and alive. Beginning this week, we invite you to gather with us digitally. Our team has been hard at work shifting our programming online, with the goal of streaming performances, providing interactive virtual gallery experiences, and sharing other engaging content & conversations with our community. While nothing can replace the visceral power of live performance or the transcendence felt standing before a magnificent work of art, we hope this series will keep you engaged and connected with your neighbors from around the corner and around the globe.
The weeks and months ahead may be uncertain….but what I know, and continue to believe in, is the power of the arts to keep us together and lift us up.
March 16, 2020
After the University’s announcement late Friday afternoon issuing further measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, it is with a heavy heart that we announce the cancellation of our remaining Spring 2020 season and that our visual arts spaces are closed through the end of the spring semester. The health and safety of our community remains our top priority, and in full support of the efforts outlined by the University, state and CDC, the following events are cancelled:
- Leyla McCalla Quartet on April 4 in Bowker Auditorium
- Monkey Baa Theatre Company’s Diary of a Wombat on April 9 in the Concert Hall, both the morning school performance and evening performance
- Ashwini Ramaswamy’s Let the Crows Come on April 14 in Bowker Auditorium
- Hamid Drake’s Indigenous Mind on April 23 at the UMass Old Chapel
- ¡Guitarra! Classical Guitar Series’ presentation of Drew Henderson on April 25 and 26 at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on April 28 in the Concert Hall
The Augusta Savage Gallery, Hampden Gallery, and University Museum of Contemporary Art are also closed until further notice.
We still had so much to share with you this spring, so we encourage you to stay in touch with us while the world reacts and responds to this public health crisis. Our team is currently dreaming up ways we can continue to engage, educate, and inspire you during this unique moment in our existence. If you see anything you think your fellow FAC friends would enjoy, please share it with us, too!
These measures will have serious economic consequences, especially to artists, crew members & support staff, and arts organizations. We invite our community to consider these options as a way to support our organization during this challenging time:
- Exchange the value of your tickets for a gift certificate to be used at a later time with our box office
- Donate the value of your tickets as a much-appreciated gift to the Fine Arts Center’s Annual Fund
- Make a gift in place of the performance or exhibition you would have visited
For more information from UMass Amherst, please visit www.umass.edu/coronavirus.
For updates about other events in our venues, please view our full event listing here.
March 12, 2020
As always, the safety of our community remains our top priority. There is an understandably high level of concern as the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads, and we, along with UMass Amherst, are closely monitoring this evolving situation.
On March 11, the University announced that after Spring Break, campus classes will be taught remotely March 23 through April 3. Conferences, meetings or other events with more than 50 participants that are scheduled to be held on campus should be held virtually, postponed or cancelled. Following this guideline, and erring on the side of caution, the following events presented by the UMass Fine Arts Center are cancelled:
- Cirque Flip Fabrique: Blizzard, March 18 in the Concert Hall, both the morning school performance and evening performance.
- Román Díaz Rumba Ensemble, March 26 in Old Chapel
- SFJAZZ Collective, April 1 in the Concert Hall
We understand this news will be very disappointing to many, as it is for us. Ticket holders have been contacted separately and refunds will be issued via original payment method starting at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, March 13. We also offer the following alternative options, and invite our community to consider these options as a way to support our organization during this challenging time:
- You may exchange the value of your tickets for a gift certificate to be used at a later time with our box office
- You may donate the value of your tickets as a much-appreciated gift to the Fine Arts Center’s Annual Fund
Please contact our Box Office at 413-545-2511 or by email at email@example.com to review your options. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. We apologize for any delays in reaching our staff during this busy time.
Fine Arts Center performances beyond the three listed above will be reconsidered as the University re-evaluates their plans by April 1.
Please note, Augusta Savage Gallery, Hampden Gallery, and the University Museum of Contemporary Art were already planning to be closed for Spring Break, March 14-22. We will be in touch about their plans for reopening after this period.
While at this time there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our campus or in the surrounding community, we are taking these steps as a precautionary measure to protect the health and well-being of our community. We will continue to follow the University’s guidelines and will follow up as the situation develops. For more information from UMass Amherst, please visit www.umass.edu/coronavirus.
For updates about other events in our venues, please view our full event listing here.
As the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to cause concern on our campus, across the state, and around the world, please know that the Fine Arts Center and University have and will continue to take steps to safeguard the health and well-being of our community.
March 9, 2020
As of this time, all scheduled events at the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, Rand Theater, Curtain Theater, Bezanson Recital Hall & Bowker Auditorium will go on as planned, and Augusta Savage Gallery, Hampden Gallery and the University Museum of Contemporary Art remain open this week and closed March 14-22 during the University’s spring break.
To ensure the safety of community, we are currently taking the following precautionary measures in our venues:
- University and Fine Arts Center Staff are cleaning & disinfecting all restrooms, handrails, door handles, and other commonly used surfaces daily and periodically during scheduled performances. Restroom cleaning is being done with medical grade cleaners to prevent the spread of germs, per University standard.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be deployed to the Fine Arts Center by the University. Please note, supply side shortages may delay this or limit the deployment to our spaces.
- Additional staff are being added to events to open doors to limit patron contact. Multi-stall bathroom doors and venue entrances will be propped open so patrons do not have to make contact with the door handles.
- Programs will be distributed from tables staffed by an usher, not directly handed to patrons. Any programs left behind will be permanently recycled and not reused at future performances.
- Employees have been instructed to use gloves when cleaning and will be issued additional gloves for other tasks as requested.
- Starting at March 11’s performance, pending any complications with technology, patrons will be asked to scan their tickets with our newly secured ticket scanners. Ushers will not be physically taking ticket stubs.
As always, the safety of our community remains our top priority. If you are unsure about attending a performance you are ticketed for, please contact our Box Office at 413-545-2511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to review your options. The Box Office is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.