I belong to the local art club and am also on the Board. It’s been a real challenge for us keeping things going this year.
With Covid being such a concern, a lot of our members did not rejoin this Spring. Many who have rejoined are not participating in club activities. They are fearful. We understand. We also understand that we have some members who want to continue to have events in some form or fashion. We are trying hard to keep both sides of the debate (do something, don’t do something) happy.
So… we have been trying. We had a Zoom virtual meeting back in October. It was mostly the Board who tuned in. That was really disappointing. Our club’s President spent a lot of time with the logistics of it all. As the program presenter for that month, I video taped, edited, and uploaded my presentation. I doubt if more than a few watched it. (But boy did I learn some things during the process!) For this club, doing things via internet isn’t their thing. We understand.
For November we had a “come and go” project for community outreach and we can claim it as a success. Members were given the option to 1) come, stay, and create handmade cards to be given to a local assisted living/memory care facility or 2) come, drop off their handmade cards, and leave quickly with a hearty wave of their hand.
This come and go type of meeting format seems to work for us… so far. Masks are required, hand sanitizer is available in mass quantities, tables/chairs are limited and set far apart, and elbow taps (or booty taps) have replaced hugs. Though the masks prevented us from seeing each others smiles, they couldn’t keep us from hearing the laughter and talk from those who have missed seeing each other in person.
More events are planned around the limitations of the current health crises. Luckily for us, we are not in an area that has a high number of cases. If that changes, our plans will have to change. Planning or running any kind of club is a matter of being flexible right now and knowing that things could be cancelled at any time.
One good thing. If the club should fall apart this year, the Board has a really good excuse. It wasn’t us. It was COVID.