We are truly living during an interesting time. A year ago, the Center had just closed out a stellar financial year as we set our sights to becoming a million-dollar organization by the end of our 2020 fiscal year. But, as we have all learned, things can thwart even the best laid out plans.
So, where are we now? Through the spring and summer, we were able to keep most of our classes going through virtual instruction. We have moved most of our classes back into the building, albeit with smaller class sizes to allow for social distancing, but some of our courses are still available online.
We also found a way to stream shows for our patrons with pre-recorded plays filmed either through Zoom or in small segments throughout the Center after hours. We started to welcome live events in September with a limited audience of 40 people. We are now offering live streaming events, which have both an in-person audience and an at-home audience viewing the show online in real-time.
Besides human safety precautions (wearing masks and maintaining proper social distancing while in the building), the building is currently receiving safety-related upgrades with COVID-19 in mind.
Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and funding administered through Hillsborough County, the Center is installing a commercial air purification system for the heating and cooling system, an electrostatic disinfecting machine, and touchless sinks and toilets. Also included in the CARES funding is equipment that will help us improve our virtual events’ quality, helping to make virtual events a part of our permanent fabric.
I invite you to visit CarrollwoodCenter.org. See what we have to offer and read about what we are doing to make your visit safe. If you are not ready to visit us, I encourage you to discover what we can bring to you virtually. Also, please register to receive our weekly e-newsletters so you can stay current on all of our new developments.
The pandemic has hit all of us hard, but the ability to discover and invent new paths is how we will overcome. More connects us than separates us, and building bridges in the face of adversity is paramount. I ask that you continue to look out for the small businesses and non-profits that are often the heart of a community. Make an extra donation, offer to volunteer, shop locally – all of those things make a world of difference.
Yes, the steps might be a little different now, but we hear the music playing…and our dancing shoes are on.
See you at the Center,
Executive Director, Carrollwood Cultural Center