In the foreground, a woman wears a white gown with a veil, a crown made of snowflakes, and fur lapels. Behind her, a man carries the train of her dress.

Resources for Reopening in New York

JUMP TO: New York State & City Resources | Open Culture NYC | TrainingsReopening Guides | Templates | Reports | Preparation, Response, & Recovery | What is A.R.T./New York doing?

Some aspects of our industry have begun to reopen, and we are inching closer to welcoming more artists - and eventually audience members - back into our spaces. When we do, we know we have to do so safely. So, we've compiled a list of resources that we hope will be useful as you make plans to reopen your spaces and gather in person once again. We will update this page regularly as more resources become available. If you have a resource you would like to add to this page, please email [email protected].

DISCLAIMER: A.R.T./New York provides links to these resources in an attempt to consolidate information for our members. Inclusion on this page doesn't indicate an endorsement of any specific guidelines or reopening plans. The content within each resource remains solely that of the original publishers. Each venue and producing organization will need to assess their own unique circumstances when implementing safe reopening measures. Please follow all reopening guidelines listed on New York Forward

Last updated: May 7, 2021

New York State & City Resources

Broadway Vaccination Site
The Actors Fund can help schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments at ATC's Broadway Vaccination Site (ATC Vaccination Times Square, located at 47th Street & 7th Avenue), for members of the performing arts & entertainment community who are working, living or attending school in New York City.

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility 
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently being distributed to various groups of people who are at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure or severe illness. The vaccine is expected to be widely available to all New Yorkers by mid-2021. As of March 17, public-facing not-for-profit workers, including all those working in the not-for-profit theatre industries, were made eligible for the vaccine.

Interim Guidance for Small & Medium Scale Performing Arts & Entertainment
Effective Friday, April 2, 2021, small and medium scale performing arts and entertainment event venues may reopen in accordance with this guidance. This guide was created to provide owners/operators of small and medium scale performing arts and entertainment venues and productions, and their employees, including front-of-house (FOH) and back-ofhouse (BOH) personnel, performers/talent, contractors, vendors, and patrons with precautions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 as in-person performing arts and live entertainment venues reopen with patrons.

New York Forward
Visit the Regional Unpause Dashboard for detailed information about each region's reopening status, and find detailed guidance for businesses for each phase of reopening, including Phase 4, which includes low-risk indoor and outdoor arts and entertainment.

NYC Business Reopening Guide
NYC's Reopening Guide points to many of the same State websites listed on this page, but also includes some City-specific information, including an FAQ page addressing questions around venue inspection and enforcement.

NYS Department of Health
New York State's COVID-19 page includes the latest updates on the state's phased reopening plan as well as resources on testing, prevention, and mental health.

DCLA Reopening Resources Page
The Department of Cultural Affairs offers another compilation of reopening resources for theatres and the cultural sector as a whole.


Open Culture NYC

Open Culture is a new permit type available from the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office allowing for ticketed performances. Arts and cultural institutions, as well as entertainment venues, will have the opportunity to secure a permit for single day, socially distanced performances at over 100 street locations throughout all five boroughs. Please check back for updates!

Apply to Open Culture NYC 

Open Culture Guidelines
The drafted eligibility and guidelines for venues and cultural institutions below will be finalized and go into effect following the finalization of the Open Culture rules that are scheduled for a public hearing on February 26, 2021.

Open Culture Street Locations
The list below is for the latest Open Culture street locations by borough. More information regarding the Open Culture program will be released soon.

OpenCultureWORKS partners with artists, arts groups, and cultural organizations to bring live performing arts programs and events to streets, parks, plazas, and other public spaces. Their goal is to help define, develop, and realize creative visions for outdoor performance. They also offer curating, programming and creative visioning. Their services include guidance, consultation, and support from concept through implementation.



Arts & Science COVID Safety Training and Covid Compliance Officer Certificates
Arts & Science provides COVID Safety Training and Covid Compliance Officer Certificates for Theatre Production and Patron Safety. A.R.T./New York members receive 10% off the $50 registration fee using the code: ARTNY. Their curriculum is applicable regardless of union affiliation, though they provide COVID Safety Training and CCO Certificates recommended by AEA. 


The classes are moderated and co-taught by Lauren Class Schneider and Dr. Larry Kaskel. Industry professionals join in to share how their shows and venues are adapting during the pandemic. In addition to learning facts about COVID-19, myths are dispelled and practical information is provided.


Classes are meant for those working in theatre and live events who want to be knowledgeable about COVID safety during the pandemic and those who aim to be COVID Compliance Officers. Each class is two hours long, including time for a quiz. Upon completion, attendees will have access to the Arts & Science resource page filled with valuable information.

COVID-19 Compliance Officer Training
HES has designed this non-union class to inform producers, coordinators, production assistants, and 1st ADs about on-set protocols related to COVID-19 as well as provide tools and resources for the new COVID-19 Compliance Officer (C19CO) position.


Reopening Guides

Actor's Equity: COVID-19 Information for Producers
AEA's page with information on safety guidelines for producers planning on using an Equity contract for a production during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 1, there is updated Safety Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Workplaces that will be in effect through June 30, 2021. 

Reopening Dance in NYC Guidelines
Reopening Dance in NYC Guidelines offers a comprehensive digital toolkit to help guide reopening plans for the dance community in NYC.

The Guide
A free resource for those who are in the process of (or soon to be) reopening performance spaces. The Guide offers comprehensive information and advice on everything from configuring seating to staff, performer, and audience policies designed to comply with NYS Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Small and Medium Scale Performing Arts and Entertainment.

NY Forward: A Guide to Reopening New York & Building Back Better
New York State's Reopening guide. This resource doesn't cover our sector as specifically as some of the other resources below, but it does provide a broad overview of the State's plans and guidelines for reopening.

HERE Arts Center's Comprehensive Reopening Plan
HERE’s incredibly thorough reopening plan focuses on the question of how to open safely, rather than how quickly to open. The health and safety of staff, artists, and audiences are paramount at every step along the way. All decisions are informed by local, state, CDC, and WHO rules and recommendations, and all measures are grounded in public health science and infection control.

92Y Reopening Strategy
Another comprehensive look at one organization's reopening and safety plans. This resource may be most useful for anyone operating or working in a large, multi-use venue.

Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide
This guide is a collective work to help peers across the broader event industry, so it is not focused solely on theatres. This document contains no “best practices” that apply everywhere – coronavirus creates different challenges depending on countless factors, including the size of the event, its geographic location, the physical space, and the anticipated attendees, to name just a few. Instead, in the order one would plan an event, they have identified reasonably foreseeable health risks and suggested options to mitigate them.

SDC Return to Stage and Performing Arts Playbook
The overarching goal of the Playbook is to help performing arts organizations craft their own safety plans so that SDC Members and AGMA artists can safely return to work. The AGMA/SDC Return to Stage and Performing Arts Playbook helps to address the unique challenges of singing, dancing, stage managing, choreographing, and directing by outlining the layers of protection necessary to mitigate risks.

All in NYC: The Roadmap for Tourism's Reimagining and Recovery
Developed by a coalition of representatives from all sectors of NYC's visitor economy. This roadmap is aimed at first increasing confidence among NYC residents to participate in a variety of activities, and ultimately to encourage visitors to once again feel safe traveling to New York.

PACC Guide to Reopening Theatrical Venues
This guide was developed primarily for larger venues and focuses primarily on risk levels for four main categories: 1) guests, 2) visiting companies and back of house staff, 3) front of house staff, and 4) office staff. Their risk/mitigation analysis focuses on the reopening process from an operations perspective and is intended to be one component of an overall performing arts center reopening strategy.

The Art of Reopening: A Guide to Current Practices Among Arts Organizations During COVID-19
National Endowment for the Arts research staff surveyed national service organizations in the arts and interviewed arts organizations and consultants about reopening practices of organizations that have resumed in-person programming in 2020, during the pandemic. This guide presents promising tactics and insights through nine case studies. 42 pp. January 2021



NY Forward: Safety Plan Template
Each business or entity, including those that have been designated as essential under Empire State Development's Essential Business Guidance, must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan.

Coronavirus Self Declaration Form Template
A template version of the form all visitors and staff of A.R.T./New York facilities must sign daily when working on site. It may be modified for anyone to use for their own office space or rental facility. 

SAPO's COVID-19 Event Safety Plan and Checklist Affirmation Form
In order for your permit application to be reviewed, you must review and sign the COVID-19 Safety Plan and Checklist Affirmation.



How Arts and Cultural Organizations Can Consider Adapting | SMU Data Arts
Aimed at helping arts and cultural organizations consider key questions and variables as they plan for reopening and a post-COVID-19 future, this report estimates the pandemic’s effect on the nonprofit arts sector and identifies three critical propositions and four prompting questions for consideration.

Roadmap for Recovery and Resilience for Theater | American Repertory Theater/Harvard University
An in depth living document complied by American Repertory Theater in partnership with public health experts from Harvard University. This document can be a valuable resource to those currently looking at what to do in their own spaces.

COVID Theatre Think Tank
A self-organized consortium of theatre professionals across the nation, representing multiple disciplines and corners of the industry has joined forces with leading front-line health experts to research the unique challenges facing the theater industry emerging from the pandemic. Visit their site for additional resources, such as a recording of the April 1 National Town Hall, and to subscribe to their newsletter.


Preparation, Response, & Recovery

Americans for the Arts
Americans for the Arts closely monitors recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Federal and D.C. governments as developments evolve concerning the coronavirus. 

ATW’s COVID-19 Safety Officers and Guidelines Video

Employer FAQ and a one-pager on testing frequency guidance from the City

Force Majeure Under the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Force majeure clauses excuse a party’s nonperformance under a contract when extraordinary events prevent a party from fulfilling its contractual obligations. Learn more about how this could affect your insurance policies and claims.

Immigrant Accompaniment Networks & Covid-19
A skill-share for immigrant justice. 

Notify NYC: Short Code Terms & Conditions
Receive official updates on COVID-19 directly via text message.

NYC Media & Entertainment Indoor and Outdoor Nightlife Guidelines

NYC United Against Coronavirus — Resources and Information
This document contains information and resources to help New Yorkers respond to the coronavirus.

Principles for Ethical Cancellation
If you are considering cancelling an upcoming event or gathering but worry about the repercussions on artists, freelancers, and contractors, read these principles to help you make an informed decision.

TCG Webinar on Preparedness for Theatres
A webinar that provides a holistic take on preparedness for theatres. 


Remote Working

12 Ways to Stream the Stage
Observer provides different ways to bring your performances online.

Epic Players Ensemble: Train Your Students for Zoom Rehearsal
This two-page primer teaches you how to get a large group, especially youth but also adult artists, quickly familiar with Zoom.

Fractured Atlas: How to Transition to a Virtual Workplace Overnight
If your organization was not prepared to move virtually so urgently, this guide will help you make that transition quickly.

Fractured Atlas: Tools to Make Remote Work Less Remote
This extensive list includes online tools for communication and organization. 

Guidelines for Holding Digital Readings/Rehearsals via Video Conferencing Platforms
A guide on bringing your readings/rehearsal online. 

Harvard Business School Online: 5 Tips for Working from Home
To help you make a smooth transition and stay engaged, here are five steps you can take to start working from home more effectively.

Higher Logic Free Virtual Conferencing
Higher Logic is offering Event Engagement to assist organizations in driving engagement and connection around virtual events.

Howlround: Ways of Gathering in the Age of COVID-19
A guide to livestreaming with resources to help you move your programming online. 

Intro to Zoom
Work from home like a pro! Our Education & Access Coordinator, Kirsten Sweeney, walks people through the basics of Zoom meetings in this online workshop.

Livestreaming Panel: Artists In a Time of Global Pandemic (ASL & Captioned)
For US-Based freelance artists and cultural workers in all disciplines. March 16 @ 8:00pm EST.

Meet Me Accessibly — A Guide to Zoom Cloud Meetings from a Blindness Perspective
A free audio guide on how to use Zoom, by and for users who are blind or low vision.

PAAL HR Health: For Work in the Arts Workshop
This webinar provides information on seeking employment and working from home, covering essential mindsets, space prep, and resources that can help support you as you engage in new ways.

Remote Rehearsal Tips & Tricks
In light of recent events, it might be useful or necessary to hold remote rehearsals. This is a collaborative resource meant for extreme circumstances. 

Teaching Theatre Online: A Shift in Pedagogy Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak
An extensive guide on teaching theatre and the performing arts online created by Dr. Daphnie Sicre, an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Arts Program at Loyola Marymount University.

TechSoup: Nonprofit Resources for Remote Work During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Free, online resources that are quick to implement to help you adjust to working remotely.

Zippia: A Guide To Find Work During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Zippa is a job research site and they are offering a free resource to help people dealing with unemployment from the coronavirus pandemic.



What is A.R.T./New York doing?

Below you'll find more specifics about reopening our spaces including our safety plan, copies of our health screening questionnaires, and studio rental guidelines. Visit our Studio Rental page to learn more.

Facilities Safety Plan: Spaces@520
Facilities Safety Plan: South Oxford Space
Posted for all tenants, staff and visitors to our spaces.

Studio Rental Guidelines: Spaces@520
Studio Rental Guidelines: South Oxford Space
This form must be signed by all studio renters and will be kept on file at each facility. 

Coronavirus Self Declaration Form Template
A template version of the form all visitors and staff of A.R.T./New York facilities must sign daily when working on site. It may be modified for anyone to use for their own office space or rental facility. 


Header: Blessed Unrest's Production of The Snow Queen. Photo by Maria Barinova.