Covid-19 Announcement

Thursday, 12 March 2020 21:58
Published in Blog

UPDATE - March 17, 2020.

Due to the community spread of Covid-19 in our state and region, Art Access will close our office, workshop, and gallery until at least April 1, 2020. All scheduled programming is postponed. We will announce resumption only when we receive more information about when we can do so safely. The opening reception for the March exhibits scheduled for Friday, March 20, 2020 has been postponed. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will keep you updated on when we expect to reopen. 

We will be posting resources for those who may need assistance on our Facebook page to help direct people to organizations and groups that can provide emergency assistance. Our staff will be working remotely and will do our best to stay connected, as well as respond to your questions and concerns.

This is a scary time for everyone, but we are all in this together. We want you to know that our thoughts are for the health and wellbeing of our entire Art Access community and we continue to love and support all of you.

Please keep yourself and your loved ones safe. 

Thank you, 

Shandra Benito, Executive Director


Friday, March 13, 2020.

Dear Art Access Community,

We are following the Covid-19 pandemic very closely, and our top priority is the safety and protection of our program participants, patrons, artists, volunteers, and staff. As a disability based organization, we feel that swift action by our organization and the general public is imperative to protecting those most vulnerable to the virus. It is also important to acknowledge the tremendous impact that this pandemic will have on individual artists and small businesses. 

Art Access is taking all of these things into consideration, as well as all directives and recommendations made by the CDC and our state officials, including the Covid-19 task force.

The situation is rapidly changing, and as things change, so will our response.

As of today, our plan is as follows:

  • Our gallery and office will remain open until we receive confirmation of community transmission of the virus at which point we will temporarily close the gallery and our staff will work from home.
  • We anticipate being open for Gallery Stroll next Friday evening 6:00 pm-9:00 pm, however, we will be taking the following precautions:
  • We will monitor the number of people in attendance and will cap the number of people in our gallery space at one time to 50 people.
  • Staff will be wiping doors and surfaces with disinfectant throughout the event.
  • We will not be serving refreshments.
  • We are reviewing other Art Access programming on a case by case basis, and communicating with our teaching artists and participants and making the decision whether to continue or postpone based on the unique needs of each program and participants. If you are a program participant or teaching artist and have not heard about the status of a workshop or session please reach out to Kerry Carlson,  for more information.

We are also proactively planning for the likelihood of community transmission and, consequently, the temporary closure of our gallery:

  • We will make an effort to post and share digital images of work for upcoming exhibits and will work to make purchases possible over the phone and digitally. Please contact  for more information.
  • We are making contingency plans for our 300 Plates fundraiser and exhibition on May 14, 2020 should large gatherings continue to need to be canceled, which would include the digital sale of plates and artwork. More information will be released as we approach the event and have more knowledge.

Finally, as an organization dedicated to serving the disability community and other marginalized communities, I personally ask that you consider the following:

  • Protective measures such as canceling events or self-quarantining if you are sick or displaying symptoms of the virus may feel unnecessary to some. However, these measures are critical for protecting people with suppressed or weakened immune systems, people with chronic health disabilities, people over the age of 60, and more.
  • When making decisions about staying home or attending/holding events or gatherings, consider not just the chances of transmission to yourself and your family, but also the general community.
  • Despite the importance of these measures, they also greatly impact the artists, small businesses, non-profits, low-wage and gig workers, and more in our communities. You can help mitigate the impact of the pandemic for these groups by:
  • Buying food, take-out, and other goods from local small businesses especially those that are owned by people of color, disabled people, and members of the LGBTQ and other marginalized communities.
  • Tipping waitstaff and service workers generously.
  • If you have disposable income, consider buying work by artists, donating to nonprofits, or donating the cost of your tickets to arts organizations (rather than asking for a refund or choosing not to buy a ticket).
  • Supporting groups working to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on homeless, low-income, and working-class (especially those who cannot work from home) individuals and families.
  • Checking in on your neighbors and people in your life who are more vulnerable to infection. The Salt Lake City Mayor's Office suggests:
    "For now, if you haven’t already, make sure you have your neighbors’ contact information so you can call, text or email them. Talk with them about emergency planning, whether anyone in the household has unique needs like essential prescriptions or medical care, and how you might be able to help one another should this situation escalate."

As an organization, we will be continuing to do everything we can to protect and support our community through this public health crisis and we will keep you updated and informed. 

Sending you all love,

Shandra Benito and the entire Art Access staff 

Help Art Access provide inclusive arts programming for Utahns with disabilities and those with limited access to the arts.

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Our 300 Plates Fundraiser and Exhibition takes place the third Thursday in May each year.