Coronavirus and Public Health
March 17, 2020
The health and safety of Mineral School residents, volunteer staff, and the Mineral community are of great concern to us. For several weeks, we have followed coronavirus guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control as well as Washington state’s COVID-19 resources and updates page in this rapidly changing situation.
In response to the developing COVID-19 situation, we are making modifications to the summer session lineup but not cancelling summer residency sessions. We are currently completing applicant jurying, and as we notify residents of acceptance we will work with them to optimize their dates of attendance and travel plans such that they can avoid high-traffic public places (airports, bus stations, train stations) while traveling to Mineral during this time of restricted public contact.
We are fortunate in that Mineral is a very small community (population: 200) where social distancing is easily achieved. We are working on enhanced cleaning protocols for summer 2020, and our public events trend small and we will follow precautions to keep residents, presenters, and attendees safe — including and up to restricting events to a 10-person maximum in keeping with the newest guidance. During residency, seven individuals share a 12,000 square foot building — meaning it is very possible to maintain space while in a community together. The median age in Mineral is 70, and we respect our neighbors’ needs to sequester themselves against exposure risks during this time.
We are no strangers to unexpected acts of nature and timing in Mineral: During residency, we have hosted a funeral, an all-locals community meeting, and a 130-member firefighting team that camped out back in between trips to battle a nearby blaze. We’ve also taken precautions against a loose juvenile cougar. All of these incidents required resident and community cooperation and communication, and are an inextricable part of the fabric of life in a rural, small community. We see the current pandemic as a dire circumstance but also one where, with care and caution, we can nevertheless continue to deliver on our mission to nurture artists and help them generate new work.
Please stay informed by returning to this page, where we’ll post dated updates and the latest notifications.