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Ypsi's Riverside Arts Center Suspends All In-Person Events Through End Of The Year Due To Pandemic

Aug 18, 2020

Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti
Credit Barry LaRue

Laying off the last paid employee, executive director Elisa Guyton, the Riverside Arts Center, now in its 25th year in operation in Ypsilanti, is canceling all in-person arts events through the end of the year due to the pandemic.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the chair of the arts center's board of directors, Akosua Dow, about what lead to this difficult decision but how they are holding on to hope for the arts center's future.


Riverside Arts Center Board Chai rAkosua Dow
Credit Akosua Dow

The Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti is closing for the rest of the year.

The center is suspending all in-person operations at its facility and laying off their last paid employee at this time, due to the ongoing economic impact of COVID-19.

The Chair of the Center’s Board of Directors, Akosua Dow, says it just wasn’t economically sustainable to maintain their current operations at this time.

“We’re not happy, obviously, that this happened.  It’s been a really rough time for us.  But we recognize that our community is also going through a rough time, and we hope we can all get through this together and come out stronger on the other side.”

A few community arts center activities are planned for the coming months, but details are still being worked out as to exactly how that will work.

Dow says this is not the end of the center, and they hope to re-open sometime next year when it is safe to do so.

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu