Updated: Jun 4
To our Project Onward family:
Project Onward will remain closed to our artists for the summer. The date of our return will be after Labor Day, on September 9th.
I had longed for the day of our return - the day that Project Onward would open its doors again to our customers, staff, volunteers, interns, Executive Board, Auxiliary Board and, most of all, artists. I had envisioned we’d all be together within a party-like atmosphere. We'd have food, chips, a welcome back sign and, best of all, cake for all of the birthdays we’d missed in the last 80 days that we’ve been locked down. I couldn’t wait to see all of your faces lit up with smiles and hear the personal stories about your lock down. Although I had planned every detail for our return and actually purchased all of the personal protection items I could think of, what I couldn’t see was our not being able to give fist bumps, side hugs, and kisses on the cheek.
Last week, as this day was approaching, I took a long, hard look at our return back to the studio and have decided that the risk is too great at this time. I am not willing to risk your health to come back to the studio to make art. One of the most important aspects of Project Onward besides the making of art is our ability to socialize with one another, make friends, and get along with one another. I know that the real reason you’d like to get back into the studio is to see your friends. I know you are disappointed. I am too, but I also know that some of you are relieved because this COVID-19 pandemic is frightening.
The Project Onward gallery and store will open June 18 to customers. Project Onward will be open by appointment only on Thursday through Saturday. Staff, volunteers and interns will return to maintain the gallery and sell art to customers albeit on a staggered, limited basis.
Project Onward is in for the long haul. One good thing to say about this lock down is that it’s shown that we have truly dedicated supporters—not only in Chicago or even the United States, but from all around the world. Our customers and donors have continued to support our mission by purchasing art, donating money and offering to help in any way that they can.
We will continue to grow, prosper, and overcome this terrible period of time.
We will continue to make art from the safety of our homes.
Love you all.