PLANS FOR THE OGLE CENTER IN THE TIME OF COVID

Dear Ogle Center Friends,

We wanted to reach out to each of you and, first and foremost, extend our wishes that you are safe, healthy, and managing to adjust to a “new normal.” We cannot thank you enough for your continued support. It has been a challenging few months for everyone, and we appreciate your patience as we plan for the best and safest way to proceed serving our communities.

Both the Ogle Center and Indiana University Southeast are having to adjust, as well. IU President McRobbie initiated the IU Restart Committee, and the committee worked diligently to develop procedures necessary to safely hold classes this fall, including on-campus, in-person instruction in certain applied areas of study.

It is evident, however, that performing arts venues face greater difficulties when considering the spread of the virus than most other types of businesses. Maintaining a distance of six feet between patrons would mean that we would have to limit the audience in our concert halls and theater to roughly 20% of capacity.

After careful consideration, and with the health and safety of our patrons being our chief concern, the Ogle Center and IU Southeast have determined the best course of action is to not produce a 2020-2021 season. However, we continue to explore options to provide quality arts, entertainment, and cultural experiences while ensuring your well-being and the well-being of our community.

One of those options was very successful recently when on Labor Day we hosted and live-streamed a wonderful concert featuring renowned Indiana Bluegrass musicians Jim Smoak and Michael Cleveland. This was presented through the Kennedy Center’s Arts Across America program and Traditional Arts Indiana. During the livestream broadcast on Facebook and YouTube, more than 600 visitors tuned in and identified their locations while watching. People from the Republic of Panama, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, and from cities all across the United States joined in viewing the performance with Jim Smoak and Michael Cleveland. To view a recording of the program, please visit the Kennedy Center's website.

The Ogle Center will remain an essential part of IU Southeast, but for the time being our focus will be on the academic needs of the university as we work our way through the careful and measured process of providing instruction to our students. To that end, the Ogle Center has officially become part of the IU Southeast School of Arts & Letters.

This is new terrain for all involved, students, faculty, staff, and administration alike. As such, we cannot say with any certainty when the Ogle Center may reopen to the public. Since we will be working more closely with the IU Southeast Music and Theatre departments, we are hopeful that at some point during the spring semester we may be able to present performances by those departments as well as speakers and lectures through live streaming or other remote means. We encourage you to check the Ogle Center website or Facebook page periodically for any updates.

We truly miss seeing you at the Ogle Center and sharing with you the wonderful talent we have worked hard to present each season. As we begin this hiatus, please know that we will be thinking of you and keeping our eye toward the future when we can welcome you back to the Ogle Center. In the meantime, we wish you continued health and safety during this extraordinarily unique time.

Sincerely,

Kirk Randolph,
Ogle Center Director

Jim Hesselman
Dean, School of Arts & Letters