25 March 2020 (UPDATED 29 MARCH 2020) : Statement from Salamanca Arts Centre and COVID-19

25th March 2020 (UPDATED 29 MARCH 2020)
Salamanca Arts Centre
The COVID-19 issue continues to develop daily and I have been in contact with the SAC Board daily to develop our responses to a range of challenges as they arise.
We recognise that COVID-19 is a local and global community issue, and whilst the implications to SAC and its operations are manifold, the primary focus needs to be to prevent the spread of the virus in every way we can.
Whilst we took early steps to install additional hand sanitiser units in toilets and other appropriate locations within the Arts Centre, and though our contract cleaners have been giving greater attention to hand rails, handles, lift buttons, etc., in the interests of our staff, tenants, residents and the public, we decided to close public access to the Long Gallery, the Sidespace Gallery, the Studio Gallery and the Top Gallery, and most other parts of the Arts Centre effective from 12 noon Monday 23rd March.

At this stage, SAC Administration continues to be staffed, but if you need to meet with us, we ask that you arrange an appointment via email.

I know that some other organisations within the Arts Centre have chosen to have their staff work from home or are meeting with clients by appointment only.
The majority of SAC retail outlets have made the choice to discontinue trading, though where some might continue to trade, the public will be allowed access to those areas and those retailers.  However, if you wish to contact any particular retailer or other business that operates from within Salamanca Arts Centre you should contact them directly, prior to trying to visit their premises.

Should it be the case that all SAC retailers choose to cease trading, then we will close the building at those access points to ensure that security is maintained.

SAC acknowledges that our residents: whether they be artists in studios, retailers, arts organisations, or independent artists with whom we had hoped and expected to work over the coming weeks and months, are also being affected by the social and economic implications of COVID-19. Hundreds of cultural events have already been cancelled, and SAC, mindful that this is causing both enormous and added stress to artists’ financial challenges, is looking to see how we can, in a range of ways, mitigate those effects and continue to support our residents.

Whilst of course the effects of COVID-19 will add to the daily stress that is an inherent part of working in an Arts Centre, we cannot take this most recent challenge personally.

SAC will continue to review and respond, whilst maintaining a perspective between panic and prudence. Prudence is reviewing what we do so that it will have practical and proven ways to reduce, limit or contain the spread of the virus. We are looking at this situation as an opportunity to enact precautions that may, even if indirectly, save someone from being severely affected by the virus.

Knowing that the situation changes daily, and sometimes by the hour, SAC will continue to adhere Government Public Health Directions and Guidelines. They can be found at https://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/publichealth/communicable_diseases_prevention_unit/infectious_diseases/coronavirus and https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov

expect that regular updates will be provided to SAC staffresidents and our public as developments and information relevant to COVID-19 become evident and available.

Whist the movement of people is being affected and this means we are unable to be in the physical presence of art and artists, I hope we all take this requirement to change how we live at the moment, also as an opportunity to engage with art and to support artists in those ways that the current restrictions still allow.

You can purchase (either by download or in a book shop – whilst they remain open) and read a book by an Australian author. You can download music composed and/or performed by an Australian composer or band or orchestra. You can pay to watch an Australian movie, or an Australian opera, or an Australia play that is available to be accessed via the Internet.

There are still many ways that we can support Australian artists, both financially and emotionally; you might be able to send them a message to tell them you have just purchased and are reading their book, etc. I suspect they will really appreciate that at the moment.

So a couple of recommendations from me, for whilst you’re spending some time at home: The novel, ‘Autumn Laing‘ by the wonderful Australian author, Alex Miller. [ go to https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12144440-autumn-laing ] or listen to the beautiful ‘Time is a River‘ by Australian composer, Graeme Koehne. [ go to https://www.abcmusic.com.au/discography/graeme-koehne-time-river ] 

If you have any questions, or wish to discuss the implications of Covid19 on businesses or activities within Salamanca Arts Centre, I invite you to contact me at ceo@sac.org.au.

In the meantime, please stay safe and healthy. Please adhere to those ways of behaving that we know will limit the spread of the virus, and please be understanding of each other and smile, even from a distance, if you pass a stranger.

Joe Bugden

Salamanca Arts Centre

A note from Marketing and Communications:

We will duplicate all updates both on our social media platforms and SAC’s wonderful website. We will continue to publish the SAC e-news each fortnight that will not only post the most recent update from us but also be suggesting other ways to support Austrailan artists and of course, top recommendations from SAC staff as Joe has above.

Kind Regards

Tash Newman
Communications and Marketing
Salamanca Arts Centre


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