Providence Arts and Culture Re-Emergence Self-Assessment Tool

The following series of questions is a working self-assessment tool co-developed by the City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism (ACT) and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA)

  • These questions are designed to help you assess your readiness to offer programming safely.
  • This resource is designed to work in tandem with Governor Raimondo’s Reopening RI phased plan which outlines the conditions necessary to make plans. Answering these questions has no bearing on the legality of an organization’s reopening.
  • The state and municipalities will continue to be the authority about public assembly, entertainment licensing, and other relevant thresholds for creative businesses to safely re-open.
    • Currently the City of Providence is allowing special events under certain conditions. Please see the department’s permitting portal to learn more.
    • Please refer to the Reopening RI website for guidance on phased regulations and standards at the state level.
    • For more on the City of Providence specific guidance, see the City’s COVID-19 FAQs.
  • Unfortunately, the timeline of how the novel coronavirus pandemic will unfold is uncertain. Flexibility in planning and being prepared to scale and/or modify offerings at each phase of the recovery will be necessary in the coming months. We hope this guide will aid planning, staffing, budgeting and operations of public programs.
  • Please reach out to ACT Special Projects Manager with any requests for technical support: msalkind@providenceri.gov

Cultural Spaces Current Phase III guidelines for cultural spaces require that indoor events are limited at 125 people and outdoor events at 250, provided that there are 100 square feet for each person attending a program or visiting a site. This section includes questions related to what type of venue, organization, or event you operate and how that operation affects your capacity to safely re-emerge. Whether you own your own space or you are renting/leasing, programming must still comply with federal, state and local legislation/emergency decrees.

  • Using Your Space:
    1. How many patrons/audience members can you fit inside your PUBLIC/FRONT OF HOUSE space at a safe 6-foot distance from each other (100 square feet per person) in such a way that they can still participate in or engage with your work?
    2. How many staff members/volunteers can you fit inside your PRIVATE/BACK OF HOUSE space at a safe 6-foot distance from each other (100 square feet per person) in such a way that you can still produce or present your work?
    3. How will you represent this space-use plan visually (eg. with a scaled drawing of your space) so that it is easy for the public to understand?
    4. What is your plan to sanitize the space between uses? Are there high touch areas that will require more frequent cleaning and attention?
  • Restrooms and Hand Washing:
    1. What does your current sanitation plan look like and how does it need to be modified for health and safety to support users given the current conditions?
    2. How will you configure your space so that you can have a safe queue for your rest rooms and hand washing stations?
    3. How many attendants do you need to ensure proper social distancing in your bathroom/hand washing queue?
    4. Are you able to schedule timed visits to your restrooms?
    5. Are you able to provide disinfecting wipes in your restroom to encourage shared responsibility for hygiene?
  • Entrances and Exits:
    1. How will you organize and plan for orderly, safe entrance and exit from your facility prior to and after your programming?
    2. What space will you demarcate outside of your venue to form a safe queue?
    3. Will you need any additional permits or permissions from neighbors to use outdoor space?
    4. How many staffers do you need to ensure a smooth, safe, experience for your patrons?
  • Outdoor Spaces:
    1. Does your venue have a parking lot or adjacent public space that can safely be used for outdoor programming?
    2. If using an outdoor space for programming, how will you organize it to maintain safe social distancing for up to 250 people (100 square feet per person) (eg. a parking lot could use markings for cars to indicate appropriate social distancing)?
    3. What additional entertainment licenses or extension of premise permits do you need to produce outside your venue?
    4. Will you need any additional permits or permissions from neighbors to use outdoor space? It’s always a good idea to let them know your plans!

Indoors or out, the above questions about how you will hygienically use your space to access restrooms etc. should be considered


Audience and Staff Composition (eg. number and type of on-premise staff and audience members)

  • Who do you serve? How do the particular needs and challenges posed by your particular audience or clients affect your planning for re-emergence?
  • If youth summer camp or school-aged groups are a significant component of your program:
    1. What is your plan to move content and instruction online?
    2. If your facility is large enough to offer your camp program safely with appropriate social distancing? If not, do you have a partner site where you could hold your camp safely? What neighborhood venues, businesses, or otherwise under-used civic spaces might you reach out to about a partnership?
    3. How does the age range of your camp or school-aged audience affect its capacity to adhere to a rigorous social distancing and hygiene protocol?
  • If elders (65+) or other immune-compromised audience members make up more than 15% of your audience:
    1. What special opportunities or hours can you offer these audience members during which they can better preserve social distance?
    2. How might you offer concierge services that enable these audience members to have more space and other comforts?
    3. How will you reach out to these audience members to get information about their hopes and fears for re-emergence?
  • Livestream or Asynchronous Video:
    1. Is video documentation a meaningful way of creating and transmitting your work safely? If so, what are your current capabilities for live-stream and video recording?
    2. If proficiency with recording/streaming technologies is a limiting factor, what would be a useful way for RISCA/ACT to support you in gaining technical proficiency?
    3. If access to recording/streaming technologies is a limiting factor, would you be interested in being matched with a peer organization who can support you in accessing cameras and/or computer software?

Media/Genre (eg. what art we make, how we make it, and how our audience consumes it)

  • Performing Arts and Multi Arts spaces (including but not limited to venues that present theatre, dance, and music)
    1. How will you adjust repertoire or blocking/human organization on stage and back of house to ensure proper social distancing?
    2. What is your plan for ensuring that your artists are able to wear face masks or shields during performances?
    3. If you use a proscenium stage to present work, how will you adapt it to have minimal proximity between audiences and artists? Note: RI guidelines for cultural spaces currently require 14 feet between performers and seated audience members or high-traffic areas or 6 feet if performers are masked.
    4. Would you consider live-streaming within your venue (eg from one theater to another) to ensure both liveness/audience feedback and safety?
  • Shared Studio or Workshop Spaces:
    1. If your users share tools or art-making implements, what is your hygiene plan for disinfecting them between uses?
    2. Can your users be required to bring their own art-making supplies (eg. visual art supplies in a youth studio) so that they are touching only their own materials? If yes, what will they need and how will you communicate to them about a clear policy for BYO? How can RISCA/ACT work with you to support your clients who would need supplies in order to participate?
    3. If you are a studio space providing shared restrooms and common spaces for artists, what are your policies for social distancing and hygiene within your space?
    4. Do you need additional staff support to ensure proper social distancing in these auxiliary spaces?
  • Commercial or Nonprofit Visual Art Gallery (eg. not a performance space):
    1. What is your plan for scheduling visits by appointment?
    2. What is your social-distancing plan for queuing and viewing in your space?
    3. What is your plan for safe install, opening, and de-install?

General Precautions Checklist:

  • Who will be your on-site Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) “captains” responsible for executing and monitoring adherence to your PPE and hygiene plan in front of house and back of house?
  • What signage will you provide at all entrances, exits, restrooms (front of house) and all back of house common spaces to remind patrons and staff about your PPE and hygiene plan?
    1. NOTE: Reopening RI has official multilingual signs about precautions for preventing the spread of germs. The City of Providence also has helpful signage posted on its website.
  • How much and what kinds of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) does your team have on hand to safely administer your work with the public on premise and off site? Do you have a supply chain identified and a plan for purchasing reusable face shields and masks and/or disposable PPE such as gloves?
  • What is your team’s plan for staggering entrance, exit, and work on site to ensure proper social distancing? Does your team’s workflow allow for morning, midday, and evening crews to work separately with minimal overlap?
  • What will be your on-site first aid room where you isolate staff or audience members who are ill? If you do not have a separate room appropriate for conversion into a first aid room, can you use screens or partitions to create physical separation for anybody who may become symptomatic on-site?
  • What is your plan for conducting temperature checks of patrons and staff before they enter your site? How do you plan to address patrons and staff who arrive at your venue with elevated temperature/fever?
  • What is your plan for asking patrons and staff to provide signed affidavits stipulating that they have not traveled?
  • What is your plan for supporting state-wide contact tracing among your patrons and staff? Because ticketed audiences are often asked to provide identifying information prior to arriving at a venue, how can you shift your approach to the audience experience to help support the state’s efforts to pinpoint any new outbreaks?
  • How will you inform your audience about the mandatory wearing of appropriate face coverings when in public and in your venue? Will you provide disposable masks for patrons who do not bring their own? Will you pass on this cost (eg. like bags in a grocery store)?
  • Do you have a standard cancellation policy? Do your agreements with ticketed customers clearly outline cancellation policy and obligations? How will you communicate changes in plans with your audiences? Do you have contact info? Do you have on-site signage?
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