Dear students, families, and patrons,

We hope this note finds you healthy and safe at home. No one could have envisioned how everything would stop in the blink of an eye over the last two weeks but that doesn’t mean we cannot keep our community connected. We have been thinking about all of you and have been working on how we can move “together” during this time of isolation.

Per the Minnesota Governor’s Executive Order #20-04 we will be closed through May 1st.

We remain committed to equity and inclusiveness, especially for those who are marginalized, and understand that the pandemic will hit some in our community harder than others. ​Closures of non-profits have a profound effect on the financial health of artists and children in our program.

Our organization is a non-profit and our staff are hourly employees. Please consider a DONATION at this time to “keep the lights on” and supplement our staff.  Their contribution to the vitality of our lives is hard to quantify: beautiful movement and music sparks our imaginations, gives us meaning, helps us understand our world and gives us great personal satisfaction. 

Our studios will remain closed through June 1st but we are launching online classes and resources for you. We are grateful for the St. Paul Ballet family and together we will go on.

We realize everyone is receiving a high volume of email right now so we have created a Member Sign In which contains links to live classes, recorded classes, activities, resources and the latest information from St. Paul Ballet:

If you are not a member and would like to join please email us at spb@spballet.org or call 651-690-1588.

We have also been working on plans for when we can re-open:

  • Currently, we are still planning for summer classes beginning later in June. But again, we are being flexible and will evolve plans as time passes.
  • Spring Showcase:  The O’Shaughnessy is not booking before September. We are working on some ways to acknowledge the wonderful work all students have done this year. 
  • On Facebook and Instagram we are launching Dèveloppé: Extend Yourself, a new curated resource from St. Paul Ballet for dancers. We’ll share inspiration, information, and invitations to engage in the world in the studio, the stage and beyond. We welcome your ideas for content, i.e.: dance performance videos, crafts, recipes, activities and stories (especially anything that champions leadership of young women and men.)

As many of you know, just as we began our spring break, we received the news that our studios would be closed under the Governor’s Executive Order 20-04. This was devastating news and we made the heartbreaking decision to lay off our 20 staff members. In 2013, we made the decision that all of our working artists should be employees. That has been a decision that has stretched us financially, but we have never questioned that it was the right thing to do for our artists. Now, in this time of great uncertainty, they immediately qualified for help that is coming from our local, state and federal government. Even so, we need help to sustain SPB and bring back our artists when we reopen.  

Please consider making a one-time or reoccurring gift toward our staff who keep art in all of our lives.

We are staying in close contact with our local government and the foundations who support us to apply for any and all resources to help pay rent, utilities and services that make St. Paul Ballet run. We also meet regularly with all of the owners and directors of the CoMotion collective to help sustain the community you have helped build at 655 Fairview Avenue N.

We have an obligation to look after one another and like you, believe together we will go on.

We are grateful for the family you have created around St. Paul Ballet and will be here for you now and in the future when we will see you (in person) again!

Sincerely,
Lori Gleason, Executive Director and Christina Onusko, School Director

St. Paul Ballet

How to incorporate art into your lives and homes:

  • Follow the lead of your children, grandchildren and young people in our lives—draw, sing and dance in the ways you did as a child.
  • Talk about where you see beauty in life with your families and friends.
  • There is a wealth of great performances from the world’s dance companies on the internet to view.
  • Turn on some music and dance! Movement is proven to boost our health and our mood. You don’t need any special equipment or knowledge.

We will be checking voicemail (651-690-1588) and email (spb@spballet.org) over the break and taking registrations for summer. Thank you for your support as we navigate uncertainty together!


HELPING FLATTEN THE CURVE

Basically, it all comes down to the realities of the limits of the health care system, says Carl Bergstrom, computational biologist at the University of Washington.

As the earliest and biggest cluster of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. unfolded in his area, Bergstrom was frustrated by people on social media not understanding why they shouldn’t continue normal social gatherings.

To tackle that confusion, he teamed up with designer Esther Kim to adapt a helpful graph that illustrates what’s at stake.


There are things you can do to stay healthy and avoid spreading (COVID-19) coronavirus to those most at risk:

1.  Wash your hands frequently. Use soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
2.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
3.  Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
4.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap/water are not readily available. 
5.  Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
6.  Stay home if you’re feeling sick. 
7.  Limit in person meetings when possible. For small group meetings (four people or fewer), use a work phone. For larger meetings, phone conferencing software without video is preferred to avoid overwhelming network video capabilities.
8. Avoid group activities that would cause a large group of 10 people to have close contact (less than 6 feet apart).

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/prevention.html


ONGOING CLEANING PRACTICES:
We are looking out for each other, our families, students and staff by being conscientious and practicing good habits!

  • Additional cleaning of all equipment.
  • Increased cleaning schedule for the building.
  • Increased cleaning of bathrooms.
  • Using bleach and water mix for all cleaning as recommended by the Dept. of Health and the CDC.
  • Mandating sick staff, coaches, trainers, and volunteers to stay home when not feeling well. 

June 1