While the State of Michigan is healing, and COVID-19 cases are flattening, the RRCA is rescheduling events and rentals. “Public health is our priority. We are rescheduling events with large gatherings,” said Xavier Verna, executive director of the RRCA. Announcements of rescheduled events came last week.
- Rush Tribute is scheduled for Friday, May 21, 2021 (originally scheduled May 29, 2020, then to August 14, 2020)
- Tom Petty is scheduled for July 9, 2021 (originally July 10, 2020)
- Mercury is scheduled for August 20, 2021 (originally August 29, 2020)
Governor Whitmer announced that regions 6 and 8 are moving to stage 5 (Containing), and places like the Ramsdell Theatre and movie theatres will be able to open soon. However, indoor spaces like the Ramsdell Theatre have to maintain a capacity of 50. “This is a direct result of people following the guidelines. We need to keep this up so all businesses can reopen at full capacity,” said Verna. Other institutions like West Shore Community College have made alternative plans for the summer as well, announcing the suspension of any in-person activities through October 12. “We are pretty much in line with what other performing art centers are doing across the state and in the nation. We had to reschedule our concerts and some weddings, and look forward to holding those events at the Ramsdell in the future, ” said Verna.
Verna is part of the Entertainment & Performing Arts workgroup tasked by the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. He says the group is working on drafting a plan for how indoor facilities like theatres will implement social distancing guidelines. “The group is working swiftly to develop a plan consistent with CDC guidelines and will soon deliver its proposals to the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force for consideration,” said Verna.
In the meantime, the RRCA is seeking support from the community during this challenging time. Donations can be made to the Ramsdell online at www.ramsdelltheatre.org/donations or via check written and mailed to the RRCA at 101 Maple St, Manistee, MI 49660. Up to $300 is available as a deduction as allowed by the CARES act. “We’ve had strong support in the past, and I’m optimistic about what the future holds even in difficult times. This community depends on the Ramsdell for so much, and it benefits people of all ages. I’m confident people recognize that need and will support if they can,” said Verna.