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3. Grounding Questions

These questions are designed to make technical planning easier and aligned with who you are as an organization.

Question 1

Are you allowed to reopen?

This is a legal question.

Go HERE for links to your official direction and tips for reading it. Please consult with counsel.

Question 2
When is reopening the right thing?

This is a question of mission and ultimately cost.

The Department of Public Transformation (a small/rural/arts nonprofit organization in Minnesota) has lovely Guiding Principles for the Times that I encourage all to read as part of this planning process.


The BridgeSpan Group’s structure for principles to articulate may be a useful process guide:

A Compass for the Crisis: Nonprofit Decision Making in the COVID-19 Pandemic





Question 3
Where and what do individuals touch?

The answer to this requires a mapping exercise.

Walk through your space, your day, your audience experience

Where are spaces narrower than 6 feet?

What do people have to touch, hand things to each other, share space or equipment?

Where do people cross paths? 

Inventory all of it. 

Ask which are easily adjusted, which are expensive to adjust, which are necessary.

Be sure to think through every user group and role as you map

Employees, Artists, Crews, & Contactors

Volunteers -- from ushers to docents to board

Students, Audiences, & the General Public

And all the ways we work:

  • Rehearsals

  • Live Performance/Projection

  • Static Exploration & Exhibit

  • Interactive Activities & Things

  • Shopping & Point of Sale

Question 4
How risky are we? Can we be safe(r)?

This is first a question of research, then art form, and ultimately cost.

Definitions of low, moderate, and high-risk jobs: World Health Organization

The Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them, Professor Erin Bromage, University of Massachusetts ​

Reopening safely: Sample practices from essential businesses | McKinsey & Co.

Creative Worker Safety -- research, union recommendations and more

Question 5
What decision points and imperatives must we address?
Now it's time to start planning the details.
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