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In Carmel, one entertainment venue begins a slow reopening, another says "not this year"

Gazebo concerts canceled, arts center reopening
Posted at 7:17 PM, Jun 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 19:17:54-04

CARMEL — It's a mixed bag in Carmel when it comes to the arts.

Thursday, the Gazebo Concert Series was canceled, while The Center for the Performing Arts is taking the first steps toward reopening.

The annual Summer Concert Series at the Gazebo, held outside City Hall, will have to wait until next year, due to COVID-19 concerns. The problem is the crowds which would make social distancing difficult.

“After much thought and consideration for our guests, we’ve decided to make a tough call and unfortunately, canceling this series is the responsible thing to do,” the Fountain Square Committee said in a statement issued today. “It’s the first time in 25 years that the concerts will not take place on Wednesday evenings in the summer. This is one of our favorite ways to gather with friends in the community, but we need to prioritize the health and safety of our bands, sponsors, attendees and volunteer committee members.”

“We remain committed to providing the City of Carmel and the community with outdoor entertainment in the summer and will continue to work on our 2021 concert season with our sponsors and bands,” the committee said.

Meanwhile, the Center for the Performing Arts is preparing to resume business and eventually hold public events.

All performances and other on-site programming offered by the center was suspended in March. As of July 6, however, employees are permitted to return to the workplace as necessary under stringent testing and safety protocols.

The center’s main box office at the Palladium will remain closed to walk-up business for now, but the Patron Services staff will be available by phone at (317) 843-3800 and email at during the current business hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

On-site programming will resume this summer with small-scale education programs, Resident Company performances and rental events before moving up to larger Center Presents performances later in the year as conditions permit, said Jeffrey C. McDermott, President/CEO of the Center and the affiliated Great American Songbook Foundation.

When performances resume, masks or other facial coverings will be required at all times, except when seated for a show. The number of seats available will be reduced as a social distancing measure.

“Our mission is to bring people together to experience and engage in the arts, and we are eager to reopen our venues and welcome the Central Indiana community back to our campus,” McDermott said. “However, we must proceed carefully and responsibly. We trust our patrons to understand the importance of these safety measures and remain patient as we all adjust to the new circumstances.”