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'Our Most Responsible Action': Cincinnati Performing Arts Orgs Band Together On COVID Requirements For Attendance

Peter Mueller
Cincinnati Ballet
The Cincinnati Ballet is among the local organizations requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test in order to attend performances.

Several Cincinnati performing arts organizations are taking the same steps to fight the spread of COVID-19. The groups and venues say they will require and enforce mask wearing, require proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test.

ArtsWave President and CEO Alecia Kintner says her organization supports the decision. "Not only does this decision help stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the health and safety of other arts-goers, it also protects the jobs of the artists onstage and the crews behind the curtain," she says. "This is another important way that we can come together as a community to secure the restart of the arts."

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Pops, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Opera, Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Ensemble Theater, Know Theatre, along with the Cincinnati Arts Association, and resident organizations of the Aronoff Center all signed on.

The CSO's president and CEO says the delta variant is pushing up the number of COVID cases. "We feel that this is our most responsible action to continue to aggressively protect the health and safety of our employees and our audiences," Jonathan Martin says. "Having this policy in place means we can move beyond social distancing and allows us to safely accommodate the entire orchestra on stage as well as the ability to open the entire capacity of the auditorium to audiences."

Specific protocols and start dates may vary, and there may be some exceptions for children under the age of 12. The FDA has not approved a vaccine, emergency or otherwise, for that age group.

At the Otto M. Budig Theater, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company says visitors have two options: those 12 and up must show proof of a completed vaccination regimen, or ticket holders age 5 and up must show proof of a negative COVID test taken 72 hours prior. All audience members must wear a mask.

The press release sent Monday morning says most of the participating organizations are planning on hosting full capacity audiences. Additional information was sent to patrons and ticket holders.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.