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Guillory: Heymann Center staff, LCG working to accommodate scheduled dance recitals

Posted at 5:39 PM, May 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-29 18:39:35-04

Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory released a statement Friday afternoon regarding the Heymann Performing Arts Center working to accommodate upcoming dance recitals.

The Heymann Center's Arts and Culture Manager Brian McGrath and Venue Administrator Dennis Skerrett have been working with local dance companies to address the issues involving in providing a safe venue for recitals usually hosted at the center.

Guillory said Heymann leadership is working with his administration to determine the conditions under which the previously contracted events may take place in a safe manner. At minimum, he added, there will be additional requirements for security, post-event sanitization, and social distancing protocols for the events that will add additional costs to event organizers.

Event ticketing will be online only, with no box office ticket sales.

"LCG will continue working with the sponsors of these events to address these complicating issues, including additional expenses," Guillory's statement continued.

He added that, with the first event scheduled to take place this June, the Heymann Center and LCG expect to be able to navigate the above concerns, but said details are not yet final. Discussions of the new guidelines have already begun with event organizers, said Guillory.

The Heymann Center suspended operations on March 13 as organizers began to postpone or cancel events in light of COVID-19.

"We don't yet know when the facility will resume operations or under what conditions," said Guillory.

Members of the Lafayette dance community have rallied around the Heymann Center, as Mayor-President Guillory announced layoffs of LCG employees, including some at the center. Area dancers and dance teachers have asked Guillory to consider the "thousands of tax dollars" that would be at stake if the events scheduled over the next few months did not take place.

Guillory said at a town hall earlier this week that if his administration could find a way to keep the center open that is "not a strain on the budget," he would make it happen.

An online petition created on Thursday to keep the Heymann Center open has since garnered more than 12,000 signatures.

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