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Emory Nursing School Partners With Atlanta Performing Arts Companies To Develop Safe Reopening Plan


Actor's Express has led a coalition of 18 arts organizations (including Dad's Garage) in creating a partnership with the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University to evaluate and study performing arts operations. This evaluation will lead to the creation of a set of guidelines and suggestions on how to come back from this crisis safely and responsibly. The study's architects will release recommendations to the performing arts companies in August. The study will analyze data on how patrons, performers, and staff interact, and propose ways to safely return to work and performance as soon as is prudent. These plans will also take into account current statistics on new infections in the community, and define benchmarks for reopening.

After all 18 of the participating performing arts companies have completed the assessment tool, the project architects will analyze the data to create standard operating procedures for each area of operation, including front of house, performance, and backstage. These operating procedures can be applied across all the performing arts companies in the region. Then the DNP students will go one step further, issuing specific guidance to each participating performing arts company detailing how that individual company can adapt its workflows to mitigate the effects of COVID-19.

"Because every operation is different and each venue has a unique set of challenges, no one sweeping policy will work for everyone. Through this partnership as well as guidance from the CDC and Georgia DPH, we hope to find a set of guidelines all performance venues can put in place to reduce risk to audiences, artists, and crew, as well as specific action plans for each company participating in the study. " -- Morgan Clark-Youngblood, DNP candidate at Emory School of Nursing

The final recommendations will be released to the performing arts companies in August; at which point the companies will begin implementing the recommendations to safely return to work as soon as is prudent, while simultaneously using the plans to engage with the performing arts unions and national performing arts community to create a standard of safety across all performance venues.

Participating Arts Companies (*denotes steering committee member)

  • 7 Stages
  • Actor's Express*
  • The Alliance Theatre*
  • ART Station
  • Atlanta Lyric Theatre
  • Aurora Theatre
  • Center for Puppetry Arts
  • Dad's Garage*
  • Dance Canvas
  • Found Stages
  • Georgia Ensemble Theatre*
  • Horizon Theatre Company*
  • Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company*
  • Out Front Theatre Company*
  • Stage Door Players
  • Synchronicity*
  • Terminus Dance
  • Theatrical Outfit*


  • Daniel Geller DNP, MSN, FNP
  • Roxana Chicas Ph.D., RN
  • Rebecca Shasanmi Ellis, MPH, BSN, RN
  • Monica Donohue MN, RN
  • Kim Crawford, MPH, FNP
  • Sarah Febres-Cordero RN, BSN
  • Priscilla Hall Ph.D., CNM

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