BMCA continues to hold events using strict COVID-19 protocols

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
BMCA continues to hold in person events using COVID-19 protocols.

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts continues its regular programming with strict COVID-19 restrictions in place. Only people who show proof of vaccination may attend events, while a negative test result is not enough to gain admittance.

"At our capacity we can seat about 80 people," said Lori Cozzi, the BMCA executive director. "But right now we're spreading it out a bit more."

According to Cozzi, many shows that used to be at capacity now have significantly lower ticket sales. For example, she said one of the center's improv comedy shows which used to consistently sell 60-80 tickets only sold about 30. 

The arts center requires proof of vaccination for in-person events such as concerts and plays. Cozzi said in addition to accepting vaccination cards, accepting recent negative tests proves to be challenging and unreliable, though the center hasn't ruled out the possibility of including the option in the future. 

"We decided to not do that because it's complicated," Cozzi said. "I've been hearing constantly of people getting false negatives. And we are also advocates for the vaccine."

Cozzi said she wasn't sure if this has any negative affect on ticket sales, but she does know that some audience members have gone to BMCA events because of the COVID-19 protocols. She said multiple audience members have voiced appreciation of the safety precautions the arts center has taken.

The protocols BMCA uses are not dissimilar to other precautions taken by similar organizations and vendors in the region, according to Cozzi. However, unlike some others, Cozzi said BMCA does not accept negative tests or provide rapid tests as the process is complex and the tests can be difficult to obtain. 

"How many does it keep away? I don't know," Cozzi said. 

BMCA hosts a variety of events and classes throughout the year. Upcoming events include a harp concert on Nov. 21 and a children's holiday storytelling show on Nov. 28. More information is available on the BMCA website.