COVID quashes RACC events

Haunted Halloween, Holiday House events scuttled; popular preschool program will still be offered

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The Rome Art and Community Center has canceled a pair of major fundraisers — its Haunted Halloween event in October as well as its traditional Holiday House in November.

The events, staples of the fall and holiday seasons for thousands of area residents, were impossible to hold amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to RACC officials.

“We recognize that there is a lot of uncertainty out there and in light of the current situation; we are committed to doing our part in helping to keep our community safe,” said an announcement released by RACC Executive Director Tamalin Martin. “For these reasons, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our two biggest fundraisers, Haunted Halloween and Holiday House events.

“We recognize the magnitude of effort and time that goes into planning and promoting these events,” the announcement adds. “We are so very grateful to our volunteers. We want to specifically acknowledge the Upstate Scare Crew, and our Holiday House committee, vendors, patrons and sponsors.”

The Rome Art and Community Center, 308 W. Bloomfield St., is a non-profit multi-arts facility committed to fostering creativity, cultural awareness and a strong community connection, the statement said, adding that the Center operates on a very tight budget and relies on the monies from events and donations to keep going.

“Beginning Sept. 1, we will be operating on fewer hours to reduce overhead expenses and will be open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to noon,” Martin’s announcement said. “We are exploring alternative options and ways to help keep the RACC accessible and open.”

The Rome Art and Community Center’s early learning academy, The Owl & The Silver Moon, will still operate this fall, offering a morning session for 3- and 4-uear-olds with three-day and five-day options from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The first day for the popular preschool program will be Wednesday, Sept. 9. The program does have room for a few more students, officials said. For more information, visit its website at http://romeart.org/site/the-owl-and-the-silver-moon/ or call the RACC at 315-336-1040.

The RACC will be able to host small meetings and gatherings for family/friends of up to 50 attendees. Those interested in rentals should call the center.

“Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are looking into photos with Santa and family-friendly holiday activities,” the announcement said, adding that updates will be listed on the organization’s website at www.romeart.org and its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RomeArtandCommunityCenter.

“Thank you for joining us on our journey into this ‘new normal’. We promise to be back with new ideas and great events,” the RACC statement said. “Please consider making a donation in order to help RACC in the days ahead.”

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