Uncertain path for Dallas arts groups, following Texas governor’s plans for reopening the state

Posted on: April 29, 2020

“The reaction Monday to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s plans for reopening the state was greeted in the local arts world with sizable doses of surprise and confusion,” writes Michael Cranberry in Monday’s (4/27) Dallas Morning News. “The governor proclaimed that all retail outlets, as well as restaurants, movie theaters, museums and libraries, are free to reopen May 1—but with occupancy no greater than 25%. That’s expected to expand to 50% by May 18. Debbie Storey, president and CEO of the AT&T Performing Arts Center [home to the Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center, Texas Ballet Theater, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico], said, ‘It didn’t specifically give us permission to open, so we’re still trying to assess what this means for us.’ … Performing arts venues … cannot … be restricted to a quarter or half their capacity and manage to survive economically…. Jennifer Scripps, director of the Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, described the situation Monday as being ‘really fluid…. The need for PPE—hand sanitizer and protective gear for staff and visitors—is a challenge…. Just because you can open doesn’t mean that it’s financially viable or wise.”