Last week, Vashon Center for the Arts (VCA) announced that it has joined other major venues in the region to put stronger safety protocols in place for audience members and staff.
VCA — like the Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera, Edmonds Center for the Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet, The 5th Avenue Theatre, ACT-A Contemporary Theatre, Seattle Rep, Village Theatre, and other venues — will now require audience members to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (or proof of a negative COVID-19 test for exempted persons) prior to entering the Kay White Hall theatre.
Children under 12 and people with a medical or religious exemption that prevents vaccination must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of the performance date. Patrons can learn more about VCA’s vaccination requirements at vashoncenterforthearts.org/vaccination-policy.
Last week, Allison Halstead-Reid, VCA’s executive director, explained that many touring artists are increasingly requiring, in contractual agreements, that venues institute this policy. Two upcoming music acts booked into VCA are among those artists.
VCA also now requires all VCA employees, board members, volunteers and educators who work on a contract basis to be vaccinated, as of Sept. 6.
“The health and safety of our staff and everyone who visits our campus must continue to be our number one priority as an organization that exists to serve our community,” said Halstead Reid.
To that end, VCA will continue a mandatory mask policy for all visitors entering VCA campus buildings, regardless of their vaccination status.
Events offering concession purchases will require guests to consume beverages and food in VCA’s outdoor courtyard or breezeway areas where patrons can safely remove their masks while eating. Guests visiting VCA’s gallery to view the visual arts exhibits for short periods of time are not required to show proof of vaccination but will be required to wear their masks at all times, and to socially distance if other visitors are present.
Ticket holders unable to meet VCA’s vaccination and testing requirements can request a ticket refund or convert ticket value to a donation to VCA.
Some major events are coming this fall to VCA.
The first, a new partnership between Vashon Center for the Arts and an acclaimed Seattle dance troupe, will take flight on Sept. 9, 10, and 12, when Whim W’Him kicks off its 12th season on the stage of the Kay White Hall.
These performances — the first of three planned at VCA in coming months — will include the world premiere of new hybrid dance creations by choreographers Rena Butler and Mark Caserta, alongside a hybrid dance creation, “Nova,” by Alice Clock and Florian Lochner.
For VCA executive director Allison Halstead Reid, the performances are the fruit of a relationship with Whim W’Him that was seeded earlier in 2021. The dance troupe is now signed to bring each show in their season repertoire to VCA, starting with this September’s dance concert, then again in January and May — three shows in all.
For more information and tickets to Whim W’Him performances, visit whimwhim.org and vashoncenterforthearts.com.
Acclaimed composer and pianist George Winston will play a concert on Sunday, Sept. 26. Winston’s show is co-presented by VCA and Debra Heesch.
The band Los Lobos has also now been booked to play a show on Friday, Nov. 12.
For more information about VCA’s offerings, visit vashoncenterforthearts.org.
Delta changes auction plans
In light of the recent rise in COVID-19 Delta variant cases on the island, VCA has also decided to adapt its annual fundraiser and return to a three week, two-part auction event— an online auction opening on First Friday, Sept. 3, and a virtual gala night live-stream event on Friday, Sept. 24.
“Heartbreaking as it is, holding a sit-down catered dinner and in-person gathering for 300 guests in our atrium adds a risk factor we are simply not willing to take,” said Halstead Reid. “We are not canceling this critical fundraising event for our arts center but responding to our patrons’ concerns and returning to the format we successfully pulled off in 2020.”
In-person viewing, in the VCA gallery, as well as online bidding for the auction will run through the evening of Sept. 24. The VCA gallery will feature all the art and experience auction items with bidding active for three weeks. More than a hundred original art pieces by favorite island artists have been donated, as well as dozens of one-of-a-kind experiences. VCA Staff will be on hand to help visitors sign up for mobile bidding at vca.maxgiving.bid where they can bid.
VCA supporters are encouraged to tune in and watch the gala benefit broadcast at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24. Co-hosts Kevin Joyce and Martha Enson, of EnJoy Productions, will return with their trademark humor and spirit to host a virtual gala featuring special guest performances, on-air prize drawings for some items, a Golden Ticket raffle, and a fundraising appeal for VCA’s Blue Heron Education Center and our scholarship programs. The live stream will be broadcast from the Kay White Hall and is free to view.
In addition, the VCA auction committee plans to offer boxed dinners and treats that can be pre-ordered prior to the live stream event on Sept. 24 and will be delivered to homes across the island. More details will be coming out in the next few weeks.
“VCA is still very much open for business and we encourage the community to continue to safely visit our campus and show their support for the arts,” Reid said.
For questions or further information about the auction, call 206.259.3007 or email email@example.com.