As we all have seen, things are starting to open up a little bit more around here. People seem to be getting used to the ideas of social distancing and using masks and other protective measures when …
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As we all have seen, things are starting to open up a little bit more around here. People seem to be getting used to the ideas of social distancing and using masks and other protective measures when they are out and about. Right now, the challenges seem to be for our local businesses to figure out ways to follow the guidelines and be able to open on a limited basis for a little while longer.
That kind of creates a bit of a dilemma for some. Restaurants, for example, have to try and space tables and seating far enough apart but still be able to seat enough customers to cover their operating expenses and hopefully make some money. That’s doable for some of the larger places, but we all have a few favorite small, intimate eateries that are just physically not able to do that. Some folks are getting creative. I saw one restaurant that was able to make use of the sidewalk in front of their restaurant and a few of the parking spots on the street too. Of course, that’s probably not the kind of thing that will get city approval everywhere, but at least they are trying to think outside the box a bit.
Another dilemma is that, with limited seating, they want to attract customers, but not too many customers. As musicians working in places that are both bars and restaurants, that still leaves us pretty much out of the picture for a little while. One of the reasons we are there is to attract and keep customers, but when you have more patrons than you have room for, we’re just kind of a waste of money. So, we’re all on hold for a little while longer. That’s OK, I’m keeping busy making music videos with my dogs. So far that’s not going as planned. They sing pretty well, but not when I turn the camera on. I have my suspicions that they secretly joined the local musician’s union and won’t perform anywhere without a contract. I can’t prove this because my wife screens all their mail.
In the mean time, I’ve been looking for more things you can do to entertain yourselves at home. Of course, we all know that you can search the web, and by doing everything under the sun on-line, it does eliminate a lot of borders. You no longer need to limit yourself to places you can drive to in your area. You can tune into stuff from half way around the world. But, that being said, it’s still kind of nice to find some local things to watch and to support our neighbors.
Golden’s own Miners Alley Playhouse has just the thing for those of you that are missing live theater. They have launched their new “on-demand” virtual theater and have kicked it off with a video of their Children’s Theater production of The Frog Prince. It’s a classic fairy tail that the whole family can watch with the kids and grand children. It’s free to watch, although they would appreciate a little donation to help keep them afloat until they are able to open up again. Just go to www.minersalley.com to check it out.
While you are there, if you have kids and are looking for something that will help keep them occupied this Summer, you might want to look into enrolling them in one of their Youth Education Theater Intensive (YETI) camps. They will be holding their June camps on-line but still offering an excellent way to give kids a way to experience being a part of a theater company. They are waiting to see how things open up for their camps scheduled for later in the Summer, but you can head to their website, mentioned above, for more details.
Another thing you might want to check out is this year’s Foothills Art Center Member’s Show. You can’t go to the Center in person, but they have the whole thing up on their website that you can view for free, although any donations are appreciated as well. Just go to www.foothillsartcenter.org and poke around. There’s a lot to see there. They are also running several on-line art classes right now that you can sign up for. Those have a fee, but it’s extremely reasonable. Most, right now, are for kids, but they have an adult class scheduled down the road a bit. You can learn to do a lot more than painting “happy little trees.”
Don’t forget to go outside and howl at 8 p.m. We’ll be listening for you. You’ll be able to recognize us. My wife always ends hers with a “meow”. That’s her way to lobby for getting a black and white cat to go with our black and white Huskies. I have no idea how that’s going to work out. Probably with me in the E.R.
John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He can be reached at email@example.com
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