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June 2, 2020

Austin Arts and the Outbreak of COVID-19: A list of cancellations, postponements and closures

Note: This list will be continually updated

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The following is a list of Austin area arts and culture organizations that have closed  as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Updates will be posted as they are received. Email us at

To stay informed and up-to-date on public health announcements and recommendations check the City of Austin COVID-19 information page, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization.

As of 11 a.m. CST March 20:

The Blanton Museum of Art will remain closed until May 5. “We miss seeing our community at the museum, and are working ​on ways to share the riches of our collection and ​exhibitions, our curatorial expertise, and the creativity of our staff with visitors digitally,” said museum director Simone Wicha in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Blanton in the future, and gathering once again as a community around art.”

Preservation Austin‘s Homes Tour has been rescheduled for September 26.

Art Alliance Austin’s Art City Austin fair has been postponed until the fall.

As of 3 p.m. CST March 18:

All city libraries and cultural centers — including the Elisabet Ney Museum, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center and the George Washington Carver Museum, Cultural & Geneology Center — are closed through March 30.

Texas Folklife is canceling all scheduled live events, performances and gallery operations until further notice. This includes all remaining 2020 Big Squeeze live auditions and concerts. However, the Big Squeeze and other Texas Folklife programs will continue in virtual formats. The Big Squeeze youth accordion contest will accept video entries for any contestants who did not already try out at a live audition. See texasfolklife.org/article/big-squeeze-2020

LOLA (Local Opera, Local Artists) has postponed its March 26 LOLA at 4th Tap concert and its presentation of the new opera, “Good Country.”

As of 2 p.m. CST March 17:

The annual Fusebox Festival is cancelled, and organizers are looking into how the performance festival might be a virtual festival. “We’re still proposing a festival,” said Fusebox executive director Ron Berry. “It will just be a newly imagined festival that exists online in virtual form.”

As of 11:30 a.m. CST March 17:

The Austin Film Society is closing its AFS Cinema until further notice.

The Vortex theater is closed until further notice.

Music collective Density512 is postponing its premiere of the opera “Eva and the Angel of Death” until next season.

Malvern Books is closed until further notice.

As of 9 p.m. CST March 16:

All Alamo Drafthouse locations are closed.

As of 2 p.m. CST March 16:

The March meeting of the city’s Austin Arts Commission is canceled.

Big Medium has canceled all programs until April 15 and closed its gallery and offices. Staff is working from home. Visit bigmedium.org/response for updates on how programs maybe conducted by livestream.

Effective March 16, Mexic-Arte Museum will be temporarily closed to the public and will reopen as circumstances allow.

BookPeople is closed to in-person visits until at least March 29. But the independent bookstore will offer curbside pick-up for anything ordered from the online.

The Austin Dance Festival is canceled.

Theatre en Bloc has canceled its production of “The River of Haircuts” and will present it next season.

The Marfa Invitational Art Fair is postponed until Aug. 13-16.

Golden Hornet will postpone its Young Composers Concert previously scheduled for March 29. Its April 16 MXTX program is canceled.

Penfold Theatre is postponing several productions until this summer, canceling its upcoming production of “The Tempest” but will continue with its summer camps.

As of 8 a.m. CST March 15:

The city of Austin issued an order prohibiting events and other community gatherings of more than 250 people. Mayor Steve Adler made the order effective at 2 a.m. March 15. It will remain in place until May 1, unless it’s revoked earlier. Adler’s order says the city now recommends canceling, postponing or not attending events with more than 125 people.

As of 4 p.m. CST March 15:

All Texas Performing Arts performances will be suspended for the next six weeks, through April 25. Ticketholders will be contacted directly regarding details of cancellations and postponements. “Consistent with so many of our peer organizations, we recognize that it is imperative to encourage social distancing in order slow the spread of coronavirus,” said TPA Executive Director Bob Bursey.

As of 6:35 p.m. CST March 13:

The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum will close effective today and remain closed until further notice.

Zach Theatre has cancelled the remaining weeks of its production of “Every Brilliant Thing” as well as all its youth productions. All classes at its downtown and North campuses are cancelled through March 31.

As of 6 p.m. CST March 13:

From Austin Opera: “Due to the national efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, it seems unlikely that our upcoming productions of Winterreise and Turandot can proceed as planned. We are currently investigating alternative ways to share these productions with you and will announce our plans next week, as well as any accompanying modifications to our ticketing policies.”

Penfold Theater Company cancels its production of “Vincent” at Ground Floor Theatre.

Lora Reynolds Gallery is closed until further notice.

As of 5 p.m. CST March 13:

At Austin Film Society, beginning March 16, AFS Cinema will “limit capacity in its theaters to 50%, to encourage audience members to maintain distance while in the cinema and the lobby,” a statement said. “Several times a day we are cleaning/disinfecting all hand-contact surfaces in guest-accessible areas (armrests, doors handles, counters, railings, faucets). Staff and guests have access to hand sanitizer at all times.”

As of 4 p.m. CST March 13:

The Contemporary Austin will close both of its museum sites for two weeks. All spring break classes scheduled for March 16-20 at the museum’s Art School at Laguna Gloria are canceled. “This is a decision that we take very seriously,” said Margie Rine, Interim Director of The Contemporary Austin. “Experiences with works of art can provide solace and comfort during times of public stress, but the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, and visitors is our highest priority.”

As of 2 p.m. CST March 13:

The Blanton Museum of Art is closed to the public until March 31

As of 10 a.m. CST March 13:

The University of Texas, St. Edward’s University and Austin Community College have closed operations for March 13.

The Harry Ransom Center is closed “to the public for the next two weeks, and will reopen, if the situation allows, on Monday, March 30,” center officials said. The closure includes the center’s galleries and reading room.

Landmarks, UT’s public art program, has suspended all programs through March 30.

As of 8 p.m. CST March 12:

Line Upon Line Percussion has cancelled its March 22 concert featuring the TAK Ensemble.

Density512 will limit its March 15 concert “30 audience members to ensure distance between individuals and will have hand sanitizer for your use,” a statement from the new music ensemble said. Its March 28 concert featuring the Texas tour of Unheard-of//Ensemble has been cancelled.

Mark Smith Gallery in Johnson City is moving its March 14 opening for a solo exhibition by musician Darden Smith online. You can stream the event from 2 to 5 p.m. at facebook.com/dardensmith The gallery will be open at the same time but will be “a virus-avoidant space.”

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum is “still open for normal public hours and we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely,” officials said in a statement. “We are also following CDC-recommended practices of sanitizing frequently touched surfaces multiple times a day.” Updates will be posted at umlaufsculpture.org

As of 3 p.m. CST March 12:

Bass Concert Hall
The University of Texas is postponing all events at Bass Concert Hall through March 30 including the current Broadway in Austin run of Disney’s “Aladdin.” Ticket holders for that show contacted individually as new dates for “Aladdin” are figured out. Updates: texasperformingarts.org

As of 12 noon CST March 12:

Cultural events consideration by city officials:
HonkATX: April 3
Art City Austin: April 17-19
Eyeore’s Birthday: April 25

Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton has cancelled all programs, tours, performances and talks through April 19 including the March 28 Blanton Block Party. The museum remains open during its regular hours, with CDC-recommended protocols in place. And on March 28 the museum will offer free admission to all visitors, thanks to support from its 2020 Blanton Block Party sponsors. Updates on the the museum’s website.

Vortex Theatre
The Vortex Theatre remains open but issued a statement that is following CDC-recommended protocols and will fully refund or credit any tickets already purchased. vortexrep.org

The Contemporary Austin
As of March 12, the museum has cancelled its March 14 Art-for-All program and issued this statement “While all other museum programs, including school tours and classes at The Art School, are still scheduled to occur as planned, we will continue to monitor the situation and follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as other state and federal health agencies, and make necessary adjustments based on changing conditions. Currently, both museum sites remain open during normal hours, which can be found at thecontemporaryaustin.org/visit.”

 

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