Alpine Arts Center adapting with COVID-19 restrictions
Despite challenges, local business owner thinks changes will be positive moving forward
Alpine Arts Center celebrated 10 years in the valley in March. A couple of days later, the county and country shut down with coronavirus restrictions.
“It’s been 10 years, and this is definitely a new experience for us,” owner Lauren Merrill said, “but it’s been amazing.”
Alpine Arts Center is one of many local businesses working on adapting during these times. The local arts center first started offering to-go art kits to keep people of all ages entertained while at home. Now, it’s offering interactive virtual classes with people gathering from all over the country, and world. Alpine Arts Center has also been able to get its entire art store online.
“It’s definitely been a shift in the business,” Merrill said. “I think art is pretty important right now as an outlet for people, something to do to be creative.”
Admittedly, Merrill said times have been tough at the arts center, especially with reduced staff. She misses the camaraderie of the classes in the Edwards shop, including Cocktails & Canvas, Mommy & Me and other workshops. However, virtual online classes are a way to stay in touch.
“It’s a nice way to continue to connect with our customers,” Merrill said, both near and far. “I think that will be a positive change moving forward.”
She said one student in England joined his mother in the U.S. for a recent virtual class, via Zoom.
“It’s a great way to reconnect with people,” Merrill said. “Get a group of friends together and schedule a Zoom art class, and we can do that with people from everywhere.”
In addition to the to-go art kits and weekly virtual classes, Alpine Arts Center is also scheduling private events, as well as projects for groups in the community. Organizers of the kids’ summer art camp are hoping to move forward; however, everything revolves around safety and abiding by COVID-19 restrictions.
For more information or to sign up, visit http://www.alpineartscenter.org.