FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WFRV) – Three weeks into pressing on with its summer program, the JuBriCoSa Arts Academy in the Fox Valley has decided to close its doors after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.
Initially deciding to move forward with the 32nd year of the program, Jim Hart, Program Director for the JuBriCoSa Arts Academy, told Local 5 they had around 100 registrants, 50% of its usual size, due to coronavirus concerns.
“We had to close the Winneconne location and cut the Oshkosh location in half,” Hart says. The Neenah location was operating at full capacity but only held a single session at the time of the closure.
“We worked closely with CDC guidelines and the Winnebago County Health Department to ensure safety for our staff and students on all three of our Fox Valley locations,” Hart says. “After several setbacks that we were able to safely overcome, we decided to close after three weeks when a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.”
The academy’s summer session is one of three six-week sessions put on throughout the year, it is also the academy’s largest financial session.
“This session normally gets our nonprofit organization through for 4-6 months. Now we are struggling to find an answer for this lost income,” Hart explained.
Refunds are being honored upone request, however, Hart says the academy is hoping that families will consider using the registration money that was paid upfront for a credit on future programs or as a donation.
“Registration money is what pays for royalties and scripts,” Hart said. “We’re talking thousands and thousands of dollars.”
Some of those scripts are still in the boxes they were shipped in since the programs were canceled. At the time Local 5 spoke to Hart, he explained that the licensing companies are not offering refunds.
The academy operates year-round and is planning an online fundraiser August 1 called JuBiFest to help offset the loses from being forced to end the program early.