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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Coronavirus: Outdoor concert series canceled in Sheboygan

Coronavirus

John Michael Kohler Arts Center adapts events

Music series concert in 2018 at Sheboygan City Green. (John Michael Kohler Arts Center)

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WFRV) – A music series featuring national acts has been canceled, but adaptations and new offerings have emerged in answer to dealing with restrictions caused by the coronavirus COVID-19.

According to a press release from John Michael Kohler Arts Center: The center “has made the difficult decision to cancel the free Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series concerts for the remainder of the season.

“A new free program of streamed music and art making, Thursday Nights Together (at a Distance), is being offered to continue the community-building spirit of the concert series.”

(In the past, the Levitt AMP series also was presented in Green Bay, but the series was not scheduled in Green Bay this summer).

In Sheboygan, the series was scheduled June 25-Aug. 20.

“For years, these summer concerts have brought thousands of people together to share their love of music,” said Sam Gappmayer, center director. “Our highest priority is the health and well-being of our community. We had hoped to move forward with concerts in late summer; however, ongoing concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19 make that impossible.”

A new weekly music and arts program that has started “will offer the community socially distanced activities inspired by the Levitt AMP Sheboygan events,” Gappmayer said.

“Although we cannot gather together on the City Green, Thursday Nights Together (at a Distance) is a way for us to connect with each other through shared music, making art, and engaging in social media,” Gappmayer said. 

From 6 to 8 p.m. through Aug. 20, Thursday Nights Together (at a Distance) will include music, art making and other activities. Info: jmkac.org/Together.

Starting July 2, a playlist of music performed by artists featured in past Levitt AMP Sheboygan concerts will be streamed on Spotify.

Also Thursdays, the center invites the community to share art making through project kits distributed the center’s parking lot on New York Avenue in downtown Sheboygan and from the Culinary Art Car during its neighborhood visits.

In addition, contests on the center’s Facebook page will award Sheboygan restaurant gift cards ranging in value from $100 to $500.

The center temporarily closed its doors in March and announced the cancellation of the 50th annual Midsummer Festival of the Arts and other summer programs in May.

Gappmayer said the center will follow the direction of public health officials for reopening and resuming programs and events. Staff and leadership are developing protocols to safely accommodate visitors to the building.

In the meantime, the center is presenting new online content at jmkac.org/cares that explores ways artists and arts institutions care for and support their communities. The site offers live and interactive opportunities including exhibition videos, art-making projects, performances and conversations with curators and artists.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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