(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) will reopen for in-person performances in Summer 2021, after taking a leadership role in establishing best practices for hosting indoor performances. NJPAC has also upgraded its theaters with state-of-the-art safety equipment including the installation of new HVAC air purification systems, and the introduction of electrostatic cleaning.
“For the past year, we’ve been preparing for the moment we can safely welcome audiences back to NJPAC,” said John Schreiber, President and CEO.
When the venue reopens for in-person performances (tickets for select shows will go on sale next week), patrons will be required to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of the performance. Alternatively, audience members can present a vaccination card indicating that they received a full vaccination no less than fourteen days prior to the event.
“While we are currently the only venue in the state requiring testing or vaccines before a patron may enter our theaters, we feel this measure is necessary to ensure the safety of everyone on our campus,” said David Rodriguez, the Arts Center’s Executive Producer.
“It is our goal to ensure that NJPAC is the safest performing arts space in the region. Should government regulations and CDC guidance change in the future, these policies will be adjusted.”
Throughout the hiatus in in-person performances, the Arts Center has collaborated with medical and engineering professionals on establishing best practices for hosting safe live performances. NJPAC has also invested in multiple venue upgrades to protect the health of its guests, staff, volunteers and artists.
“NJPAC has spent significant resources to ensure that our theaters not only meet CDC guidelines but exceed them,” said Rodriguez.
To reopen its campus safely, NJPAC has created a comprehensive plan to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission in all areas of the campus. The Arts Center’s reopening strategy was compiled with the assistance of consultants in the fields of medicine and theatre operation and through conversations with leadership at other major performing arts nonprofit organizations across the country and internationally. Among the new procedures and health and safety upgrades to the maintenance of NJPAC:
* All operational aspects of the Arts Center’s physical plant were reexamined to ensure they meet the highest industry standards. These include NJPAC’s HVAC system, which has a MERV rating of 15, exceeding industry recommendations for virus filtration.
* The HVAC system was also upgraded with the installation of bipolar ionization equipment — which improves the effectiveness of the filtration system by trapping small particles in the air, including virus particles, more efficiently.
* The Arts Center’s housekeeping staff uses medical-grade cleaning products recommended by the CDC, and follows a new protocol for cleaning and sanitizing all areas of the campus regularly.
* NJPAC’s theaters are now also sanitized with electrostatic cleaners, which ensure that disinfectants reach and cover all surfaces in the building.
In addition, several new audience procedures are now in place to ensure that attending a performance at the Arts Center is as safe as possible. Visitors to NJPAC will notice both changes to the facility and new practices that will keep everyone in the Arts Center’s theaters healthy, including:
* Every guest will undergo a quick and easy wellness screening, via a new health screening app, before entering NJPAC. In addition, a touchless temperature check of all patrons will be conducted at the door.
* All guests will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test from the past three days OR a completed vaccination card (indicating that the guest received a full vaccination at least fourteen days prior to the event) before entering the building.
* All guests over the age of two will be required to cover their mouth and nose with a mask.
* Touchless ticketing will be available; guests will be able to show their tickets, and have them scanned, using their mobile devices.
* Hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout the Arts Center’s campus.
* “Touchless” faucets, toilets and paper towel dispensers have been installed in all restroom areas.
* Socially distanced and, in many instances, hands-free procedures have been designed for patrons to enter and exit the theaters and access concession stands and merchandise stalls.
* Performances seating will be socially distanced as well, and audience size will be limited to comply with city and state regulations for indoor gatherings.
While no precautions can absolutely guarantee that audience members will not be exposed to COVID-19 while attending an event at NJPAC, these new systems and procedures make the Arts Center one of the safest live performance venues anywhere.
Tickets to Summer and Fall performances will go on sale soon. Patrons are encouraged to visit the Arts Center’s website at njpac.org to see what shows are currently scheduled, and to read more about NJPAC’s health and safety plans. Audience members can also visit njpac.org/health to watch a video demonstrating new entry procedures.
Ticket purchases are protected: If performances are canceled because of the pandemic, tickets purchased directly through NJPAC will be refunded in full, including all fees. If a show is rescheduled because of the pandemic, patrons will be notified of the new show date, and tickets will be honored for the new date. (Tickets for rescheduled shows can also be exchanged or refunded.)
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located at One Center Street in downtown Newark, N.J., is America’s most diverse performing arts center, and the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey – where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted nearly 10 million visitors (including over 1.7 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.