BEREA – After nearly a year of closure due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Berea Arts Council (BAC) is once again open and ready to once again host events in the community.
The organization was hit hard by the pandemic and the closure that followed in March 2020, which limited in-person events and closed storefronts and businesses.
According to Matt Reyna, head of programs and operations for LAC, before the pandemic, the council had two full-time staff and the organization had just moved into the historic Tate building on Chestnut Street in Berea.
Then the pandemic struck.
The Arts Council was forced to reduce its staff and close its doors.
âIt’s a little strange, because the arts council had just moved into this space, which is a bigger and more visible space. Then the pandemic came along and we had to close the doors. So really, the arts council. the arts and community haven’t really been able to enjoy her new home until now, âsaid Reyna.
Now the doors to the building are open and the council is preparing for its first event since the start of the pandemic.
The council will be hosting a holiday market, which will start on November 23 and run until December 18.
âWe wanted to coincide our event with Shop Small Saturday, so we encourage everyone to stop by and browse some of the wonderful items our sellers have provided,â said Reyna.
The market will feature items from a dozen artists skilled in pottery, woodworking, fiber arts, painting, soap making and other artistic mediums.
Reyna said the holiday market is the first event hosted by IBC since it reopened a few weeks ago, but the board plans to host more.
“We are still in a pandemic so we are trying to be mindful of how we can organize events and stay open safely. We are working on our return to full strength. We cannot go from zero to 60 and doing everything we did before, but we are steadily working towards this goal as we and the rest of the world emerge into this new reality, âsaid Reyna.
However, Reyna said he and the members of the BAC board of directors are determined to keep the arts council open.
âI think the biggest takeaway from the pandemic, and even now, is that we lack that connection with each other and that’s where the arts shine,â Reyna said. “Berea and her artists need this arts council and we are committed to celebrating and promoting all modes of creative expression – all art forms.”
Currently, the arts council gallery is open Wednesday through Friday every week from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Reyna said the council is currently running a membership drive and those interested can register on the IBC website at bereaartscouncil.org. The arts council is also accepting volunteers to extend the gallery’s opening hours.
âWe are calling on our community right now to help us grow again. It is the arts council of the community and that will be what it will do with it. We are always open to donations and deeply appreciate any support the community can give us. Said Reyna. âThe arts remain alive thanks to the generosity of the community. We invite anyone to join us in growing the arts council again.