With Governor Gretchen Whitmer beginning to ease restrictions of the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order, businesses across Michigan are beginning to open up. That includes some right here in Alpena.
Art in the Loft is planning to get back in the swing of things, bringing staff back to work at the art gallery after being off for 10 weeks.
Executive Director of the gallery, Justin Christensen–Cooper, says the first order of business is making sure community members will have a safe experience when they return.
“It’s going to take us a good week just to get the space ready, meaning having adequate signage that’s related to the coronavirus, sanitizing all the surfaces, cleaning, organizing, and then we’re going to use that time to get our artists back up there to start to setting up their displays of all their new artwork that they have.”
One of the major concerns as the gallery prepares to reopen its doors is getting back on track financially. Like many other businesses, Art in the Loft has taken a significant hit due to the coronavirus response.
“We’ve seen a 60% cut in what our revenue would’ve been up to this point. And that’s revenue that goes toward things such as administration and staffing, to paying the rent, to allowing artists the space to come up and use as a means to sell their artwork. So the biggest thing that I can really do to help not only our mission but to help arts in our community is to become a member of Art in the Loft. And they can do that through Art in the Loft’s website and those funds are going to be going to so many things that we want to start back up.”
When the gallery does reopen, social distancing guidelines will still be in place and events will be limited to attendees who RSVP. A number of programs will also be available online. Art in the Loft is scheduled to reopen june 11.