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In Delray Beach, Arts Garage Eases Into Reopening With Hybrid of Live and Livestreamed Shows

After COVID.jpg
Ethan Dangerwing/Arts Garage
The view from the soundbooth at Arts Garage in Delray Beach

Although Florida is in phase three of reopening, Arts Garage is taking a careful approach.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for performing arts venues throughout South Florida.

Florida is now in phase three of reopening — which means that concert halls and theaters can open up again at 100% capacity.

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However, Arts Garage in Delray Beach is taking a cautious approach to reopening — with a hybrid of live and livestreamed performances.

Arts Garage president and CEO Marjorie Waldo said that once you account for social distancing within the actual audience space, that "100%" comes out to more like 40% or half-capacity.

"I don't know when we'll feel comfortable moving up to a larger audience," said Waldo. "This is a moving target for most of us in this business and we're not sure what tomorrow will bring."

Recently, Arts Garage launched combo performance models with "Music At Home: Live From Arts Garage and "Theatre At Home: Live From Arts Garage" — performances that can be watched live, in person or online.

To accommodate live audiences, the venue had to make a number of changes to cut down the risk of overcrowding, like eliminating intermissions. Audience members must wear masks and are expected to observe physical distancing. Tables are also spaced well apart and sophisticated air purification systems have been installed at the venue.

Arts Garage is also limiting how many performers can be on stage at a given time, which complicates booking certain acts.

For the at-home audience, a YouTube stream offers a chat-bar that enables viewers to interact with the performers in real time.

"It's really cool," says Waldo. "We wanted to get it as close to the live experience as we could."
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IF YOU GO:
Arts Garage
94 NE 2nd Ave. Delray Beach, FL 33483

FOR MORE INFO: Visit the Arts Garage website or call 561-450-6357.
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WLRN's series "Intermission" has been looking at how South Florida’s arts community is coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also tells the stories of non-professionals who have been nurturing their "inner artists" in the midst of pandemic-driven isolation.

If you’ve got a story for us, please send an email to talktous@wlrnnews.org, with the word “Intermission” in the subject line.