It was last updated in April-May, 2021.
During the pandemic, the ways that we participate in arts & culture are evolving very quickly. This Guide explains what you may experience as you visit our local arts & cultural venues during the pandemic. It will be updated as public health orders change.
- CURRENT GUIDELINES: We encourage you to also reference local public health data & guidance from the health office websites for El Paso County and Teller County.
The creative sector is serving our community in new ways throughout this crisis and safely welcoming their audiences however they are able, in-person or virtually. During the month of November, the Cultural Office is emphasizing the importance of buying local art to support our creative economy during the holiday season! We also invite you to consider a year-end donation to an arts & cultural nonprofit.
As local creative businesses and cultural venues reopen, many have new or adjusted hours to accommodate changing regulations. Even if you are familiar with the place you’re visiting, verify the current hours online or by phone before visiting.
Timed Entry / controlled entry / Appointments
To align with public health guidelines, venues must limit the amount of people in the space at one time. Cultural spaces approach this in a few ways, depending on their unique layout and scale. It means a bit more patience and preparation before walking up to the door …
- Some venues, like the new U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum, operate on timed entry – you’ll need to reserve a time slot for entry in advance on their website.
- Other venues allow walk-ins until a maximum capacity is reached inside, then they control entry by having people line up outside the door and await their turn to enter.
- Other venues are offering private appointments, so that you can view the art alone or with only your small group. This latter solution is a welcoming accommodation for people especially vulnerable to the virus who may still want to experience their favorite gallery! Private appointments can be arranged online or with a phone call.
One of the most important things we can do in public space to reduce transmission of the coronavirus is to maintain 6′ or more of space between people. Indoors, this is a new spatial challenge for all of us. Businesses and cultural spaces may provide signage or floor markings with instructions to make social distancing easier. Benches or tables may be spaced much further apart than they used to be, or staggered seating may be required.
Some shops and cultural spaces like galleries or museums may also have signs and floor markings indicating which direction to walk in around a room or down a hallway – this single-direction flow makes social distancing simpler in close spaces. Tell yourself it’s fun to follow the marked trail and “go with the flow.”
As of July 17, face masks are mandatory in the state of Colorado for everyone over 10 years old while in indoor, public spaces. This will include galleries and other cultural venues and creative businesses. There are exceptions, allowing for special needs, eating and drinking, and other moments when removing masks is permitted. Full details and a helpful Q&A can be found here.
We thank our cultural participants for your understanding and compliance with this requirement, which protects our local creative workers and, truly, all of us.
To reduce tranmission of the virus, public spaces are thinking about the surfaces that we all touch. You may find doorways standing open, or with new door handles that reduce the need to use your hands. Many sales counters are introducing touch-free ways for you to pay for your art purchase or admissions fee.
cleaning & Sanitizing
Staff at the venues you visit are now trained to clean and sanitize more than in the past. Don’t take it personally if things are wiped off after you touch them, and thank these “frontline workers!”
new questions & reminders
Colorado guidelines introduce new conversations with staff when you visit a venue. You may be asked for information to help with contact tracing, or to verify your health through a few questions. Staff may remind you during your visit to maintain social distancing or do something in a new way than you’re used to doing it. These times are complex for everyone. We encourage everyone to be gracious with each other and open to the adjustments that are making it possible for venues and businesses to reopen in our community.