Almost a year after they first closed to the public, the Morris Performing Arts Center and the Century Center in downtown South Bend are reopening for live shows and events. The city announced the reopening Friday as St. Joseph County’s COVID-19 case count and test positivity rate continue to decline.
Jeff Jarnecke, executive director of venues for the City of South Bend, said the city had to furlough the majority of staff members at both venues when the pandemic began last March.
He said Morris staffers returned to work Feb. 1, and while part of the Century Center staff is still on furlough, Jarnecke said they hope to bring the rest back in the coming weeks.
“Knowing that it’s starting to feel like some sense of normalcy may be coming back to us is incredibly exciting,” he said.
Jarnecke said each event on both venues' schedules will be independently reviewed by the health department, and attendance will be decided accordingly.
Jarnecke said all event dates are subject to change based on the county’s COVID-19 status, but as of now, the Century Center’s first events are scheduled for March, and the first shows at the Morris are slated for April. Reduced seating capacity and social distancing will remain in place.
(See the release below from the city.)
Live shows, music, conferences, and more return to the Morris Performing Arts Center and Century Center as St. Joseph County moves from “Orange” to “Yellow” category in the Indiana State Department of Health’s COVID ratings, based on test positivity rate and new cases per 100,000 residents.
The Morris Performing Arts Center and Century Center have been closely monitoring the latest developments regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Following the guidelines put forth by the CDC, state, and city, face masks and six feet of social distancing are required for all staff, vendors, contactors, clients and guests of the Morris Performing Arts Center and Century Center at all times. To meet the social distancing requirements, performances will have reduced capacity seating at the Morris Performing Arts Center until further notice. In addition, both venues will provide the following.
- Enhanced cleaning procedures – both in type and frequency
- Daily deep cleanings and disinfections with emphasis on high touch point surfaces via an electrostatic sprayer
- Air duct cleaning
- Air filter changes and upgrades
- Increased use of outside air through air handlers
- Hand sanitizer dispensers located at key areas such as entrances, elevators and stairs
- Plexiglass protectors for customer interaction
- Messaging throughout the facilities to reinforce proper social distancing and hygiene practices
- Health screen questionnaire for all staff upon arrival at the facility, in addition to a temperature check and training for staff
“We have been actively preparing for the day when live events could return to our venues and as that day nears, we are ready to welcome fans and guests back,” said Venues Parks & Arts’ Executive Director of Venues, Jeff Jarnecke. “The infrastructure and process changes we instilled, both those you can see and those you cannot, will aid in the safety of all involved while still providing an enjoyable experience in downtown South Bend.”
The Morris Performing Arts Center and Century Center have confirmed the following events for the next few months but are subject to change. All events hosted at the Morris and Century Center have been coordinated with and approved by the Saint Joseph County Health Department.
Morris Performing Arts Center
April 10 South Bend Symphony Orchestra: “Bach’s Concerto for Oboe D’Amore” – 6:30pm
April 17-18 The Color Purple - Sat. 7:30pm; Sun. 4:00pm
April 24 South Bend Symphony Orchestra: “Clyne & Haydn” – 6:30pm
May 8 South Bend Symphony Orchestra: “Beethoven’s 8th” – 6:30pm
March 7 Bridal Spectacular
March 19-21 Michiana Boat & Sports Show
April 3 U93 Summer Activity Fair
Century Center ticketing and event information can be found at www.centurycenter.org. Walk-up sales at Morris Box Office are unavailable at this time. Tickets for Morris performances can be purchased by phone at 574-235-9190 / toll-free at 800-537-6415 on Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern or online at www.morriscenter.org. All other Morris inquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Venues Parks & Arts is a department in the City of South Bend that inspires a more livable South Bend for all, connecting people to emotionally engaging experiences and to one another. For more information about Venues Parks & Arts, visit www.sbvpa.org.