Suffolk Center reopens

Published 9:09 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2020

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As Virginia moves forward in reopening in light of COVID-19, the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is starting to open in phases as well.

In the first steps of reopening, the center is taking it slow to make sure patrons, members, staff and volunteers feel comfortable.

Jester’s Gallery Shop opened on June 4 to start the process. In preparation, Sandy Hart and Pat Eelman created a safety video to inform patrons what to expect. Online and curbside pick-up options are still available to those who are not ready to come into the building.

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“We have missed you all, and we are excited to be open in a safe fashion for you to join us,” said Pat Eelman, Jester’s assistant manager.

At the end of June, summer art classes are planned to reopen. The classes include Joy of Painting, Advanced Wheel Throwing IV, Basic Clay Work I, Basic Digital Photography, Tai Chi, and Beginner Line Dancing.

“The Suffolk Center is thrilled to announce the reopening of summer art classes,” said D’Arcy Weiss, Suffolk Center marketing manager. “The plan is to gradually increase classes and workshops as able.”

Summer camps are now open for registration. The summer arts camps will include art, theater and music camps for youth first through seventh grade.

“We think children are ready to get out of the house, learn and have fun this summer,” said Gavin Harper, Suffolk Center camp director. “Suffolk Center summer camp staff will proactively follow guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Campers will work in small groups, practice social distancing, spend time outside and wear masks while inside.”

New to Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is Together On Stage @ the Center. This will be a free, virtual livestream on Facebook of local artists performing in the Birdsong Theater. Different genres will hit the stage every other Thursday, including country and rock, classic jazz, jazz and funk, and pop-country. Eventually, the Suffolk Center would like to make these live-streams hybrids, allowing a small in-person audience.

For more information on the new changes and new events, visit