The Flow Arts Institute’s Covid Policy is instructed by a variety of principles and philosophies that are too verbose to include in the policy itself, yet are foundational in understanding why the policy takes the form that it takes. In an effort to be transparent with the communities we serve, we think it’s important to communicate the “why” that underpins our recommendations.
Public Health and Science
First and foremost, our goal is to take an approach that centers on public health and the wellbeing of not only our participants but particularly the localities and communities that we gather in and return to.
Included in this consideration are local hospitalization rates. We must acknowledge that handling fire has inherent risk, one that becomes an excessive burden on a locality when it potentially requires medical resources strained by the pandemic.
In centering public health, we rely on expert recommendations and science to underpin our policies.
Community Standards and Expectations
There is no obvious and clear path for holding an event, and we are working creatively to come up with designs and policies that work for our specific needs.
However, we recognize that there are many venues and events that are similarly working to find the answers to keep their communities safe. We look at how those venues and events are building a consensus best practice, as well as an expectation of how events can run safely. For instance, minimum gate requirements may sound familiar because they seem to be both reasonable and quickly understood as a working standard.
In many ways, this is a moving target. New expectations will evolve as we develop new expectations of best practices. We will update accordingly.
Empowering our organizers
While there are specific minimum standards we lay out in our Covid Policy, the majority of the document and consideration is via recommendations and community design suggestions. Our goal is to empower General Managers, Directors, and Organizers to best advocate for their attendees and the unique demands of their venues and localities.
Design for positive outcomes instead of creating rules
A major part of our policy focuses on design that sets our participants up for positive health outcomes. Through proper scheduling and facilities management, we can keep people outside and in areas where there is ample ventilation. We can prevent clustering through awareness of how lines tend to form, how sightlines work in showcases, and emphasizing activities that create more space rather than more compactness. We can work to create significant awareness, outreach, and reminders that emphasize taking care of each other and community norms, rather than lists of rules and oversight.
Build Community Norms
Essential in this strategy, as mentioned above, is building community norms. We find that mutual respect, knowledge, and building trust by working alongside each other are much more effective than any ruleset. We gather for the improvement of ourselves and in turn, to witness, encourage, and find inspiration in the development and success of others.
This can only happen when we create expectations for ourselves and all of us. When we converse transparently, are open with our intentions, and earn each others’ buy-in.
There will always be space for us to improve. This is a work in progress, for all of us. We welcome community feedback in the spirit of constructive growth. Thank you for reading and participating in these efforts.