During the pandemic, the ways that we participate in arts & culture are evolving very quickly. Cultural experiences in the Pikes Peak region have moved online, and as venues begin to gradually reopen, they now operate differently. 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 PHASE: The State of Colorado is currently in a phased reopening process, in “Level 3: Safer at Home and the Vast, Great Outdoors.” In this phase, restrictions vary between types of businesses and by county. The hubs for county restriction information in the Pikes Peak region are the county health office websites for El Paso County and Teller County.
- WHAT IT MEANS CULTURALLY: Retail spaces are currently open to some degree, including some of our region’s wonderful array of galleries. Some tourism attractions are beginning to reopen. Most indoor cultural venues like museums, theaters, and concert halls remain closed or offer very limited access.
The creative sector is serving our community in new ways throughout this crisis and planning how to safely welcome their audiences as they are able. We invite you to consider donating to your favorite arts nonprofits or the Artist Relief Fund.
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 when it opens, will 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. Most businesses and reopening 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.”
Colorado guidelines recommend that everyone wear a face mask in public, particularly in indoor spaces. Businesses are empowered to turn away people not wearing masks, if they so choose. As indoor cultural spaces reopen, they will clearly post whether a face mask is required for entry or just recommended. Check in advance if this is a concern for you; otherwise, always have one with you if there’s a chance you may wander indoors for a drink or to visit a shop or gallery.
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 for reopening are introducing new conversations with staff when you visit an indoor 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.
If you see outdated information on this page, please email the Cultural Office.