News

Arts Center plans socially-distanced art, music connections

The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wis., has made the difficult decision to cancel all Levitt AMP Sheboygan Music Series events scheduled through August 20.

“For years, these summer concerts have brought thousands of people together to share their love of music,” said Sam Gappmayer, JMKAC director. “Our highest priority is the health and well-being of our community. We had hoped to move forward with concerts in late summer; however, ongoing concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19 make that impossible.”

A new weekly music and arts program beginning Thursday, June 25, will offer the community socially distanced activities inspired by the Levitt AMP Sheboygan events, said Gappmayer.

“Although we cannot gather together on the City Green, Thursday Nights Together (at a Distance) is a way for us to connect with each other through shared music, making art, and engaging in social media,” Gappmayer added.

From 6 to 8 p.m., June 25 through August 20, Thursday Nights Together (at a Distance) will include music, art making, and other surprises. Full details about Thursday Nights Together (at a Distance) are available at jmkac.org/Together.

Tonight, June 25, Sheboygan residents should keep an eye open for a surprise, pop-up concert performed aboard the Arts Center’s Culinary Art Car when it cruises through one of the city’s neighborhoods. The music and activities will be live streamed on the Arts Center’s Facebook page for all to enjoy. The Culinary Art Car will visit three additional neighborhoods over the course of the summer.

Beginning July 2 and on Thursdays through Aug. 20, a playlist of music performed by artists featured in past Levitt AMP Sheboygan concerts will be streamed on Spotify from 6 to 8 p.m. for the whole community to share. A link to the Spotify playlist is available at JMKAC.org/Together.

Thursday Nights Together (at a Distance) also invites the community to share art making through project kits distributed on Thursday evenings from the JMKAC parking lot on New York Ave. in downtown Sheboygan and from the Culinary Art Car during its neighborhood visits.

In addition, contests on the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s Facebook page will award Sheboygan restaurant gift cards ranging in value from $100 to $500.

The Arts Center temporarily closed its doors in March and announced the cancellation of the 50th annual Midsummer Festival of the Arts and other summer programs in May. Gappmayer reiterated that JMKAC will follow the direction of public health officials regarding reopening and resuming programs and events. Staff and leadership are now developing protocols to safely accommodate visitors to the building.

In the meantime, the Arts Center welcomes online visitors to engage with the arts via its website. New content at jmkac.org/cares explores ways artists and arts institutions care for and support their communities. The site offers live and interactive opportunities including exhibition videos, art-making projects, performances, conversations with curators and artists, and more.

Thursday Nights Together (at a Distance) is presented by the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in partnership with the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation and the City of Sheboygan and funded with lead support from Acuity, Sargento Foods Inc., and Bank First.

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