Inspiration Alcona vs the corona virus

As an arts and culture organization, Inspiration Alcona has no direct way to fight the current pandemic except to help reduce the spreading rate of the virus by canceling or restricting public meetings. So we have shut down most programs and series of sessions.

But Dockside Jams, our popular Tuesday night open mic music program at the lawn above Harrisville Harbor, has returned. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket, and maintain appropriate social distancing to join in this outdoor celebration of local musical talent. The fun runs from 6 to 9 p.m. each Tuesday, June 14 - September 15. If you want to perform, come early to get on the list.

We're also hosting a special concert by Detroit singer-songwriter John D. Lamb on August 26, also at the pavilion and lawn above Harrisville harbor. Bring a lawn chair or a blanket, and maintain appropriate social distancing to join in this outdoor celebration. The concert starts at 6 p.m. with opening act Laura Frawley, one of the area's most talented singers.

We remain optimistic that the Michigan virus-related restrictions will be relaxed by fall. The September Alcona Arts Retreat is fully compliant with restrictions in force on July 1, so we plan to hold the retreat on schedule. Enrollment is now open. Full refunds will be made if the event cannot be held, of course.

But the October Lost Lake Writers Retreat is postponed until October 7 - 10, 2021. While teachers and students at the arts retreat almost all come from Michigan, where the virus seems to be under control, four of the five instructors at the writers retreat, as well as some students, would come from other states, including locations that have had or now have intense covid outbreaks. In addition to concern that these individuals might unknowingly bring the virus to the retreat, we're also worried about exposing them to air travel while the virus remains active.

We also hope to reschedule the Alcona GospelFest, originally planned for April 25, to a date in November.

The suspensions of activities include Art for Adults, our weekly lessons for aspiring artists, and Alcona Authors, our bimonthly sessions for writers. These will resume when the Alcona County Library in Harrisville, which hosts both series, allows us to do so. The library reopened in mid-June with no-touch services only. It is unlikely to be willing to host these series before August.

Also closed down, now because the school year is over, are the free weekly guitar lessons for high school students, the free weekly ukulele lessons for elementary children and the free weekly Grand Art program of art lessons at the Lincoln Senior Center for fourth- and fifth-graders and senior citizens. Reopening of all these programs depends on permission from the schools and, in the latter case, from the senior center. Both hosts are eager to start again in the fall. The governor's recent plan for reopening the schools has given the school administration guidelines for September. Inspiration Alcona will consult with the schools in August, when the administrators have a better idea of their overall plans.

Summer Art for Youth, an indoor activity, will resume in 2021.

Our Facebook page continues during this stressful time with postings about art and culture, including some do-it-at-home projects.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act makes donations to public charities, such as Inspiration Alcona, easier. The rules are outlined on the Donations page.

Stay safe, and we hope to be able to serve you more fully soon.

Inspiration Alcona Website Home Page