Lawrence Arts Center to require full COVID-19 vaccination for staff, program participants

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The Lawrence Arts Center will require full vaccination for all staff, faculty and contractors, adult program participants and audience members ages 12 and up, according to an email announcement from the CEO Monday evening.

“Because the Arts Center is home to a preschool, kindergarten and programs that require daily attendance, we felt this was a necessary step to protect our youngest students and to allow our most vulnerable participants to continue to use the arts center,” Margaret Weisbrod Morris wrote in the email. “In light of this, we also continue to require masks and practice the rigorous health protocols adopted to mitigate the spread of the virus.”


The arts center released PDFs listing details and requirements for program participants, as well as those who attend public events at the center. Kids younger than 12 are still ineligible to be vaccinated and are therefore exempt for now, but they must follow health and safety protocols.

To attend events, starting Oct. 25, anyone 12 and up must show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test that is less than 72 hours old, or an antigen test taken within six hours of an event’s start time. “Refunds will not be given for patrons who arrive without proof of full vaccination, an acceptable negative COVID test or patrons who provide fraudulent or false information.”

For adult program, class and production participants, those who are not planning to be fully vaccinated for medical reasons or religious practice may request an accommodation.

Vaccination status will be kept confidential, according to the documentation, but those who have not provided proof of full vaccination by Oct. 25 will not be allowed to attend class onsite until they have provided proof or received approval for an accommodation. Students will not be refunded for classes missed, and providing fraudulent or false information may be cause for expulsion without refund.

Click here to see the latest COVID-19 stats for Lawrence, the Lawrence school district, and Douglas County on the Times’ dashboard.

The policy comes in light of the FDA’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine for anyone ages 16 and up last Monday, Aug. 23 — which eliminated one barrier that had prevented many agencies and employers from putting COVID-19 vaccine requirements in place.

“This pandemic has not changed the heart of the Lawrence Arts Center nor the purpose and meaning of our work,” Weisbrod Morris’ email said. “We are an organization whose core is connecting people. Because we care deeply about the wellbeing of everyone in this community, our practices and policies will continue to adjust according to current guidelines and conditions while communicating as openly as possible about these decisions.

“Though tough to make, this decision was made because we are dedicated to being a healthy and safe creative refuge in the midst of a surging pandemic. In so doing, we hope to weather this storm with you until we find ourselves in greener, easier pastures. I am looking forward to getting there with you.”



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