Gotta Keep Reading, Even Though You Hate To

With all the anxiety being generated by news surrounding COVID-19, you probably don’t want to continue reading about the decisions groups are making about whether to continue events or not, and if they are continuing, what steps they are taking.

However, reading about what steps other people are taking can make you more aware of your options for moving forward and communicating with audiences.

I have probably read a good 20-25 articles since Monday in addition to an equal number of messages on our state consortium discussion group.  Still after all that, I saw an American Theatre article on the topic today that raised a point I hadn’t considered or seen anywhere else.

It was just a single mention about theaters no longer offering same-cup refills at concessions, but that wasn’t something that had entered our discussions at my venue. We are sanitizing left and right, but we had forgotten that by encouraging people to bring their theatre branded tumblers with them to help avoid creating plastic and paper waste, we raise the risk of cross contamination if they come back to the bar more than once in a night.

So as unpleasant as it may be to constantly read articles about responses to the virus, it is worth reading and paying attention in order to ensure you have a more comprehensive plan in place.

…..Damned if it isn’t going to be galling to ask people not to recycle.


About Joe Patti

I have been writing Butts in the Seats (BitS) on topics of arts and cultural administration since 2004 (yikes!). Given the ever evolving concerns facing the sector, I have yet to exhaust the available subject matter. In addition to BitS, I am a founding contributor to the ArtsHacker ( website where I focus on topics related to boards, law, governance, policy and practice.

I am also an evangelist for the effort to Build Public Will For Arts and Culture being helmed by Arts Midwest and the Metropolitan Group. (

I am currently the Director of the Grand Opera House in Macon, GA.

Among the things I am most proud are having produced an opera in the Hawaiian language and a dance drama about Hawaii's snow goddess Poli'ahu while working as a Theater Manager in Hawaii. Though there are many more highlights than there is space here to list.


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