Update on JUGHEADS Events in light of COVID-19
Dear JUGHEADS Families and Friends,
It goes without saying that our staff, SLT, and Wendy & I have all been closely monitoring the world, national, state, and local realities surrounding the pandemic of COVID-19.
Today alone, I have spoken with some key parents (one of whom is a 30-year RN and another of whom is employed by a college working closely with study-abroad students). I've also sent and received many texts from our staff and student leaders and I watched the 1 p.m. press conference by MN Gov. Tim Walz. President Trump is addressing the nation as I write.
I'll further note that I'm monitoring the actions of similar organizations such as Circus Juventas in St. Paul (more than 10 times larger than JUGHEADS) and CREO Dance & Arts Conservatory in Wayzata, where our Movement Specialist Betsy Nelson is employed full-time.
With all that in mind, Friday Rec. is on for today (3/13/20). Wendy & I will email a poll over the weekend regarding holding our Clubs next week. After that is our Spring Break, so March 23-27 we're shut down anyway.
Regarding tomorrow night's Winter Showcase, here is the latest:
1. At this time, we DO plan to hold the Showcase on 3/14/20 at 7:00 p.m.
2. Wendy will do her best to livestream it on Facebook (much like she livestreamed the Ultimate Club compete at IJA-Fort Wayne last June), or film it and upload it to YouTube later, depending on what is technically possible.
3. We recommend that the audience is self-limited. One guideline is that only immediate family members of the performers should attend. Of course we can't necessarily enforce that, but read on for a very nice offer that will maximize the need for social distancing:
4. In a generous move, Hopkins High School initiated to move the Showcase venue from the Little Theater to the Auditorium. This is the same stage that we have enjoyed using for Juggle Jam for the past 12 years (and ironically, the venue for the original Showcase in 2006). Far from merely an upgrade in terms of size and quality of performing venue, the Auditorium allows for the social distancing that we are hearing so much about from our national, state and local health authorities.
5. With the above in mind, our recommendation of a limited number of audience members will allow for the six-feet (6') of social distancing for the planned 90-minute show. For instance, audience members could sit with several seats between other families/couples, and spread out throughout the auditorium.
6. Any Showcase performers (speciality acts, skits, emcees) may opt out of performing with no judgment from the SLT or staff.
7. Symptomatic performers, SLT, staff, and/or audience members should refrain from attending the Showcase. This includes, but is not limited to, those who are feverish, have respiratory issues, are inexplicably fatigued, etc.
Wendy & I plan to send another email tomorrow or Sunday briefly polling the current Jugheads and parents regarding holding our regular juggling Clubs/rehearsals next week (March 16-20). Currently (and I'll share more protocol strategies then), our plan is to hold clubs but to strictly enforce hand-washing, prop cleaning, and minimum social distancing (even as we endeavor to continue rehearsing). We welcome feedback even before we send out that formal poll this weekend.
Finally, while we leaders here in Minnesota continue to operate in a sort of "gray area" of decision-making, we'll quickly shut down our regular Clubs (before and/or after Spring Break) if Gov. Walz closes all public schools and/or if it becomes more evident that even our daily gatherings of 18-40 people pose an unnecessary risk. Meanwhile, we have the blessing of Rev. Tom Cook and the Executive Committee at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church to hold our clubs as usual.
Thank you for the trust you place in our influencing and leading your children. Keep posted for our next email, and offer feedback (and pray!) as you feel led.
Founder & Director
JUGHEADS Youth Juggling Company, LLC