Spring and summer 2020 workshops have been rescheduled to 2021 and all bookings have been transferred. After, sadly, taking the decision to do the same with our autumn workshop dates in July, rescheduled 2021 dates have been agreed with tutors and are now listed on the Workshops page for autumn 2021.
Months in the planning, our 2020 programme was our biggest ever. With so many of you setting your alarm clocks back in October in order to grab your places, we also had our highest ever level of advanced bookings. Only 5 weeks into the 2020 programme and lockdown meant we were forced to stop 94 events going ahead before the summer. Now, we’re in July and following consultation with all 48 tutors participating in the autumn, we have taken the decision to postpone all dates scheduled for the rest of the year.
We have plans in place for general operational and building changes that would allow us to be Covid Secure, maintaining hygiene and social distancing this autumn. However, the specific detailed issues relating to individual tutors and their workshops have only emerged over the past couple of weeks as we have consulted with all the tutors due to teach. Some of our 48 tutors are unable to return to a teaching environment at all yet, due to shielding themselves or loved ones. Others raised practical considerations that we’d not thought of and that we are not able to overcome. The result is that less than 60% of the 100 planned workshops could go ahead, leaving gaping, unmanageable, holes in the autumn schedule.
Our primary concern is the safety and confidence of tutors and customers. A very close second, is that we are able to provide the pleasure, relaxation and enjoyment which everyone wants when they book a day at ArtisOn. Some of the measures needed now will simply undermine this enjoyment.
A final consideration for us comes in the form of the Test and Trace programme and the potential for local action to limit the spread of the virus as we go into the winter. There seem to be too many risks and unknowns that could further derail what is a quite carefully calibrated and intense schedule of events.
On balance we think it best to postpone the whole autumn programme to 2021 much as we did for the spring. We will be in touch with those affected in the next couple of weeks to confirm the details. We will aim for the same day/date slot, where possible, as we did for the earlier dates. We understand if the rescheduled date does not suit you, or if you feel it is just too long to wait. In which case, you may wish to request a refund. If you are prepared to wait and are able to continue to bear with us, of course your support is hugely appreciated and does help us to manage this challenging situation.
SO, WHAT CAN WE DO?
Everyone’s reactions to this situation seem to be very different – some of you may have been working throughout this crisis, are taking the extensive changes that are needed to be safe in your stride and are desperate for some light relief. Others are yet to emerge to confront the new normal and potentially, it’s going to feel much more abnormal than lock down did!
We aim to have our building Covid Secure by 6 September. This will include a new boardwalk outside the building to improve access to the loos and eliminate the need for extra traffic through the smaller studio. Although we are unable to run an intensive workshop programme, we’d like to offer our customers the opportunity to use our facilities to access creative activities this autumn….
1. We are offering the space for you to use for your own individual creative activities – if you need a space away from home to flex your creative muscles, from September we can make the building available for a small donation.
2. Where you may not want to gather people together in your home for informal creative activities, our building and facilities will be available with plenty of space for small groups to be socially connected at a distance.
3. If the progress of the virus permits, we will be planning a selection of short pop-up workshop sessions targeting low-risk activities from mid to late November. Keep an eye out for more information from mid October all being well.
The rescheduling work is largely complete and we will be emailing people with workshops booked w/c 10 Aug in batches. All bookings will be transferred automatically to the new dates. Once you have been notified via email, you have till the end of August to to let us know if you are unable to accept the revised date and you will be entitled to a full refund. After that time, your acceptance will be assumed and our normal terms and conditions apply.
Thank you again for bearing with us. Hopefully this at least provides some certainty about your bookings for the rest if the year and gives everyone something to look forward to in 2021. Please stay safe and well.
We will be taking a break in September and after that, unpaid leave till next year so, although we will respond to any queries, it may not be instant!
Best wishes, Gaynor & Sue
What to expect
Time at ArtisOn is designed to take you away from it all and provide the environment, the time and the guidance you need to create. You can expect a warm welcome, skilled and friendly tutors plus the chance to meet like-minded people keen to share ideas and experiences.
There will usually be two workshops going on and we encourage everyone to mingle and be nosey about what the other workshop is up to!
Arrive in time to meet other participants over a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits before beginning your session at the appointed time. There will be a mid-session break for refreshments and a chance to talk over progress with others. All refreshments are included.
Finish time is given as a target – there are occasions when the session may overrun so do let us know if you need to be away promptly.
What you’ll need to bring with you