Reopening Resources

As we move toward re-opening we wanted to give theatres resources to provide for the safety of artists, audiences and staff. We will continue to update this page with more resources so check back regularly and join our reopening listserv for ongoing conversation.

Appoint a Covid Compliance Officer

Appoint someone to be responsible for the safety of your artists, your staff and your audience. The compliance officer can be anyone on your staff, it can also be a team of people who have all received training in Covid 19 safety protocol compliance. Even if you are a company without a permanent home, you will need such a person or people who can oversee the safety for your company in different spaces. There are many on-line training programs where you can learn more about what a compliance officer is and should be looking for, here are a couple:

A helpful resource regarding what to look for in a compliance officer, it relates to the film industry but has a lot that is applicable.


Make sure your HVAC systems are running with the proper filters, air flow and that they are properly maintained. It might seem premature for this work, but you are likely to encounter long lead times for service as well as for ordering equipment. There is guidance from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) for all building systems here.

Reopening Checklist

Developed by Emily Macaluso at the Harris Theater, this thorough document outlines everything you need to be thinking about as you think about re-opening.

NEA: The Art of Reopening: A Guide to Current Practices Among Arts Organizations During COVID-19

The National Endowment for the Arts has created a document to help with reopening—The Art of Reopening: A Guide to Current Practices Among Arts Organizations During COVID-19. The guide includes case studies of nine arts organizations that have reopened during COVID-19.

The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide

Relief Funding

Arts for Illinois Relief Fund

The Arts for Illinois Relief Fund provides financial relief to workers and organizations in the creative industries impacted by COVID-19. This includes all artists and artisans, including stage and production members and part-time cultural workers, and large to small arts organizations in all disciplines.The fund is a partnership between the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois, the broader philanthropic community, and the residents of Illinois. It can accept donations from individuals, foundations, and public sources. The Arts for Illinois Relief Fund is administered by Arts Alliance Illinois in partnership with 3Arts and Arts Works Fund, long-standing and trusted service organizations and grantmakers.

NEA American Rescue Plan Funding

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) is announcing two programs to distribute American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds. These programs are open to nonprofit arts and culture organizations and local arts agencies, regardless of whether they have received NEA funding in the past. This is a change from previous emergency funding requirements at the NEA and significantly expands access to federal funds for the arts and culture sector.


National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s medical research agency — making important discoveries that improve health and save lives.

Behind the Scenes: Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Initiative

An initiative is to provide easily accessible mental health information, tools and resources to members of the entertainment industry.

Lawyers for the Creative Arts Brief Service Response Center

The economic effects of business closures are taking a harsh toll on the performing arts community. Lawyers for the Creative Arts is committed to helping the Illinois art community understand the legal issues arising from performance cancellations. They’ve created a Brief Service Response Center to provide general advice by telephone on issues relating to cancellations. The Response Center is open for individual artists and managers of arts organizations affected by the Coronavirus crisis. The application form is short, and they will attempt to respond to you in a timely manner.

Freelance Artist Resources

An aggregated list of FREE resources, opportunities, and financial relief options available to artists of all disciplines nationally.

Americans for the Arts Resource and Response Center

Up-to-date news and resources for the arts and culture field

NEA Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations

CDC Recommendations

CDC encourages organizations to stay in contact with state and local health agencies for guidance specific to your location.

Illinois Department of Public Health and Chicago Department of Public Health

As a best practice for overall health in cold and influenza season, the CDC recommends that individuals receive the influenza vaccination and engage in everyday, preventive measures to prevent the spread of germs and avoid illness, such as:
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
• Avoid touching eyes, mouth and nose with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick. The CDC recommends that individuals remain home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever or signs of a fever (i.e., chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance).
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then immediately discard the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Take any anti-viral medication prescribed to you as instructed.

Additional information for the U.S. is available on the CDC website.
CDC COVID-19 Webpage
CDC Communication Print and Video Resources: (in English with some translated into Spanish and Chinese)
CDC FAQ: (in English, Spanish and Chinese)

An online emergency preparedness service by and for arts/cultural nonprofits, provides arts organizations with customized business continuity plans for post-crisis sustainability.

National Coalition for Arts Preparedness & Emergency Response

A voluntary task force of national, regional, state and local arts organizations, public agencies, and foundations the Coalition helps ensure that artists, arts/cultural organizations, cultural funders, and arts businesses have the capacity and ability to respond effectively to disasters and emergencies affecting the arts and culture sector.