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PACE announces phased reopening of Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center; editorial cartoon exhibit starts June 5
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PACE announces phased reopening of Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center; editorial cartoon exhibit starts June 5

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Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment has announced plans for a phase reopening.

PACE will open the gallery, classrooms and event venue spaces at the Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center on June 4, the organization said in a release. The facility has been closed to the public since March 16 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The performing arts center at the facility will remain closed until further guidance is received from state and local officials. The phased opening includes social distancing and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols based on health and safety guidelines provided by public health authorities, PACE said. Guests are required to wear face masks while visiting the Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center.

“We are excited to reopen and welcome everyone back to the Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center,” PACE CEO Danna Kehm said in the release. “We are so grateful for the outpouring of community support during our closure. This carefully managed reopening comes with stringent new health, safety and hygiene procedures in place.

“So, as we enjoy the art center together again, everyone will need to follow CDC guidelines and the recommendations of health officials. The Hoff Center’s phased reopening plan has been done with deliberate thought and discussion to keep the safety of our guests, Partners, and employees as our utmost priority. We believe that by taking one careful step at a time, we can assure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.”

To limit contact and adhere to social distancing guidelines, guests must make a reservation for a time to enter the Nelson Gallery in advance of their visit at or by calling 712-890-5600. This process will also allow capacity guidelines to be managed, the organization said.

Starting June 5 the Nelson Gallery will host “Lines with Power and Purpose: Editorial Cartoons,” an exhibit that will feature 51 original editorial cartoons from the nation’s great metropolitan newspapers during the “Golden Age” of print journalism, PACE said. Included in the mix are six Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonists, each demonstrating the theme of political commentary through editorial illustrations and addressing issues from the first half of the twentieth century.

Longtime Omaha World-Herald editorial cartoonist Jeff Koterba will give remarks at 6 p.m. on June at McCormick’s 1894 at the Hoff Center. Admission is free, with a cash bar available. Reservations are required.

The exhibit will run through June 21.

Gallery time slots are available Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A small number of classes and events will also be available during June at the center, but spaces will be limited to adhere to social distancing guidelines, PACE said. More dates to follow.

Here’s a look at events planned so far:

June 4: PACE Paint & Sip on the Patio — Adam Van Osdel

June 4: PACE Studio Artists — open studio hours

June 4-7: Nelson Gallery Open Hours

June 5: New gallery exhibit opening — Lines with Power and Purpose: Editorial Cartoons

June 5: PACE Speaker Series — Jeffrey Koterba, American editorial cartoonist

PACE said it is canceling the June dates for the Music & Movies in the Park series, which is traditionally held on Wednesday and Friday nights in Bayliss Park, because of social distancing and capacity limit concerns. PACE is currently scheduled to keep the series July dates on the calendar but “will continue to monitor the health and safety guidelines provided by state and local authorities before deciding on the July dates in mid-June.”

PACE listed a litany of COVID-19 precautions that will be in place as the phase reopening occurs:

Screening workers for fever (over 100.4 degrees), cough, or shortness of breath

Requiring hand washing and sanitation by employees

Screening the health of all visitors

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Asking employees and visitors to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth

Providing personal protective equipment for employees and Partners, including gloves and masks

Maintaining the 6 foot physical distancing requirements for employees, partners and patrons

Using floor markings to indicate at least 6 feet between visitors

Using the HVAC system to increase airflow during peak times to turn over air more frequently

Using HEPA and carbon air purifier(s) to help reduce viruses, germs, and bacteria

Operating building at a reduced occupancy

Limiting class sizes to eight

Limiting events and gatherings in the bar area to 30 (social distancing protocols and less than 50% capacity)

Limiting gallery events and gatherings to 75 (social distancing protocols and less than 50% capacity)

Limiting event venue events and gatherings to 75 (social distancing protocols and less than 50% capacity)

Moving classes to an outdoor space (patio or park) as appropriate

Refraining from physical contact and limit shared tools or spaces

Disinfecting common areas regularly including high touch surfaces

Making hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, or soap and water readily available

Encouraging high-risk individuals to stay home

Requiring workers who exhibit symptoms or illness to stay home or seek medical attention

Encouraging workers and visitors who have been recently exposed to stay home or seek medical attention

Keeping the theater and associated performing arts rehearsal spaces closed until further notice

“The Arts will help heal us as individuals and as a society during these challenging times. The arts remind us that we’re all creative beings — and whether we’re making art, music, dancing, or sharing in the experience, we’re all connected,” Kehm said. “We cannot wait to welcome everyone back to the Hoff Center to share in these experiences, while keeping everyone safe.”

PACE said because of coronavirus closures a significant revenue shortfall is expected for the first year of opening.

“Now, more than ever, PACE needs your help to support ongoing Hoff Center operations,” the organization said.

Community members can contribute at

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