Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
At this time, there continues to be great uncertainty on when indoor public events can safely resume in the aftermath of the COVID-19 health crisis. Based upon guidance from federal, state, and local government officials and health experts, the Harris Center for the Arts will temporarily cease operations as of July 1, 2020.
While the closure is temporary, a reopening date is uncertain at this time, but we expect the temporary closure to last at least a year. While it’s unfortunately not uncommon in times like these for people to make guesses or assumptions about a possible timeline, we want to be clear that no firm timetable has been established for the temporary closure and our goal is to resume operations as soon as possible. At a minimum, this means that county and state government officials will have approved gatherings in entertainment venues, and that we can safely reopen while effectively implementing any and all mitigation or social distancing measures including but not limited to appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Once we can safely and sustainably open, we will contact all patrons via email.
The inability to schedule events for the foreseeable future has understandable impacts to the Center’s budget. Any deficit would need to be offset by general operating funds by the Los Rios Community College District at a time when the district is already facing state cuts that will likely impact programs for students throughout our region. Unlike private venues or other entertainment enterprises such as movie theaters, most of the base operating costs of the Harris Center are fixed. This means that every month the Center operates with little or no programming, it digs a deeper and deeper budget hole.
We have a responsibility to donors who have contributed to the Center to ensure that their gifts directly support arts programming. We also have a broader responsibility to taxpayers in our region to mitigate the financial deficit facing our colleges.
The Harris Center’s signature intimate venue spaces that allow the audience to closely engage with performers are not well-suited to accommodate the forecasted social distance measures necessitated for reopening in a COVID-19 environment (View Sacramento County Public Health Order FAQ & Resources). Some venues have reduced their seating capacity by as much as ⅔, a model which we could not support financially. This is particularly true for our touring artists and shows, which are among our most popular but require our full seating capacity to be financially viable.
All full-time staff will have the opportunity to be reassigned to other vacant positions at Folsom Lake College or another campus within the Los Rios Community College District. The need for other temporary classified staff, student help, and contract positions will be determined on a case-by-case basis, however, without scheduled shows, there would unfortunately be very little need for continued temporary staffing.
Refunds for tickets to cancelled events purchased directly through the Harris Center website or ticket office have been issued automatically with no further action required. This includes refunds for events that had been rescheduled for 2021. Patrons who purchased tickets by credit card will see a credit appear on their credit card account; those that purchased with cash, check or a credit card that has expired will receive a check refund via US Mail within 30 days. For additional assistance, please email TicketOffice@harriscenter.net or leave a voice message at (916) 608-6888.
Those who purchased tickets through any source other than the Harris Center should consult their place of purchase for a refund.
Gift cards will retain their value through the closure period and be accepted for ticket purchases once the Center reopens.
The expiration date for all ticket donation certificates will be extended to one year following the date of the Center reopening.
The Harris Center is an important part of the fabric of Folsom Lake College and is a source of pride for members of our faculty and staff, particularly those who were here when the Center was built. The facility will still be open and available for instructional use, but all public ticketed events and public access to the facility will temporarily cease. Since Fall classes are scheduled to be predominantly online, we will have an opportunity to discuss any operational impacts to our instructional programs before the start of the Spring semester.
We will be reaching out to our donors and members with more information about what this means in the coming days. We are so grateful for the commitment of our loyal and dedicated supporters.
We are currently looking at all scheduled events and will share updates with members and donors on their status in the coming days.
We will be reaching out to our community partner organizations and those that regularly rent these facilities with more information about what this means in the coming days.
The Harris Center’s volunteer program will temporarily discontinue. Once county and state government officials will have approved gatherings in entertainment venues, we determine that we can safely reopen while effectively implementing any and all mitigation or social distancing measures including but not limited to appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and new events/performances have been scheduled, all active volunteers will be contacted via email.