NOVEMBER 2020 The Arts Society Scarborough – Update

Dear member,

I hope you are all safe and well.

When I last wrote to you in July I said the Committee would review the situation later in the year in the hope of restarting our lectures in January. We have met again and I am sure that it will come as no surprise to you that we see no prospect of being able to restart face to face lectures in the near future. We have therefore decided to cancel such lectures scheduled between January and June with the hope of restarting in September 2021, with the proviso that should it become possible to hold them sooner we will endeavour to do so. It is not feasible for us to continue booking lecturers only to then cancel them.

However the good news is that from January we are going to move our lectures online using zoom. I am sure many of you will have become familiar with zoom over recent months but we will give detailed instructions nearer the time. It is not difficult – I promise you. A number of other societies are going down this route and we are getting help from the Arts Society nationally with the organisation.

The lectures and lecturers will be the same as if we were meeting in the Downe Arms. The first such lecture will be on Wednesday 20th January at 11.00am so please make a note in your diary and do try and give it a go. The lecture is entitled “From Peasants to Czars: A Portrait of 19th Century Russia”. We have also arranged a lecture for Wednesday 17th February at 11.00am by Dr Angela Smith entitled ”Eleanor Coade and her Stone”. We are in the process of arranging a programme of zoom lectures up until June.

In the circumstances it has not been possible to prepare the usual printed programme this year but we will let you have details in advance of the lectures. We are keen to hear your feedback on zoom lectures. The committee is aware that some of you may not have access to the internet, if so we would encourage you to try and have a “zoom buddy” - that is someone who can access the internet you could visit to share the lecture with, provided of course that the rules permit it at that time.

As you are aware we did not send out the membership renewal letters asking for subscriptions in August as we would usually do. We had hoped to wait until lectures resumed as normal. However we feel that we cannot delay much longer as we need accurate membership figures for the Arts Society as well as a flow of funds to pay lecturers. We will therefore send out the letters in January when we have restarted with our zoom lectures. Whilst the subscription will remain nominally at £54 we are reducing this to £30 for 2020/2021 to compensate for cancelled lectures over the past year. We will be asking for completed membership forms to be returned by 31st March so you will be able to sample zoom lectures before committing to rejoining. However I do sincerely hope that you will try the zoom lectures and continue your membership in order for us to maintain a strong and vibrant society.

I thought you would also like to know that we have continued with our donation to Scarborough Hospital Duke of Kent’s Childrens’ Ward for the purchase of art materials. We are very grateful to Val Kingston for all her work on this project.

Finally On behalf of the committee I would like to thank all those members who have sent messages of support to the committee during this most exceptional time. It has made new demands on us all and your messages are greatly appreciated.

Please do stay safe and I will be in touch again before Christmas.

Kind Regards

Colin

Colin Langley
Chairman
The Arts Society Scarborough
November 2020

TUESDAY, 21 July 2020 The Arts Society Scarborough – Update

Dear member,

I do hope you are all keeping well during this difficult time. I expect that, like me, you are missing our monthly lectures at the Downe Arms as well as the companionship of meeting up with friends.

The Committee has recently held a virtual meeting to consider its next steps. Unfortunately due to Government Guidance, the ongoing social distancing restrictions resulting in limited capacity at the Downe Arms and the need to keep you all safe we have had to cancel the lectures scheduled for September, October and November. This is in line with all other Arts Societies across the country and in accord with advice from the Arts Society nationally. We will review the situation later in the year to see if it is possible to restart in January. Fortunately our Programme Secretary has been able to reschedule the lecturers into next year’s programme. The lecturers have all been very cooperative in this regard so you should not miss any lecture you have been particularly looking forward to. Our Chairman, Colin, has just received the following advice from the Chief Executive of The Arts Society

As the Government has announced additional steps to delay the spread of Coronavirus, it has become clear that further measures will be taken in a phased approach to protect the vulnerable and elderly. Whilst we recognise the Government’s plan to delay the epidemic peak, it is our assessment that the well-being and safety of our Members, Volunteers and Lecturers, many of whom fall within the high-risk category, is likely to benefit from The Arts Society taking active measures to reduce non-essential Arts Society activity before the pandemic reaches its peak in the UK and Europe.

As you will be aware the membership renewal letters asking for subscriptions are normally sent out in August. We have decided that it would not be appropriate to do this at the present time whilst we are unable to operate. We will wait until we know we can restart the programme before sending them.

By the end of the membership year in October you will have missed 6 of the scheduled 9 lectures. It is right that you should receive some recompense in these circumstances. The annual subscription is currently £54 which equates to £6 per lecture. There are some expenses we still have to meet, in particular the affiliation fee we have to pay to the Arts Society nationally to meet their costs. Consequently the Committee proposes to reimburse members at the rate of £4 per cancelled lecture which I hope you will agree is fair to you as members and the interests of the Society. The simplest way for us to administer this rebate is to reduce next year’s subscription by the amount of the refund. There will be a facility for you to donate the rebate to the Society should you so wish. Details will be in the renewal letter.

I share in your disappointment that we cannot yet restart. Your loyalty to the Society is greatly appreciated and the Committee very much hopes you will rejoin and encourage your friends to do so. It is only by maintaining a strong membership that the Society can ensure it has a vibrant and sustainable future.

As we will not be meeting in October we will not be able to hold our Annual General Meeting. This will be scheduled for as soon as possible after we resume. In the meantime the Committee will continue in office.

Finally I would like to remind those of you that have access to the internet that the Arts Society is broadcasting some excellent lectures if you are missing your “arts fix”. Details are in the email newsletter which the Arts Society sends out from time to time.

Please do stay safe and I very much look forward to welcoming you all back to our excellent lectures.

Kind Regards

Colin Langley
Chairman
The Arts Society Scarborough

FRIDAY, 13 MARCH 2020

Dear Scarborough Arts Society member,

Our Chairman, Colin, has just received the following advice from the Chief Executive of The Arts Society

As the Government has announced additional steps to delay the spread of Coronavirus, it has become clear that further measures will be taken in a phased approach to protect the vulnerable and elderly. Whilst we recognise the Government’s plan to delay the epidemic peak, it is our assessment that the well-being and safety of our Members, Volunteers and Lecturers, many of whom fall within the high-risk category, is likely to benefit from The Arts Society taking active measures to reduce non-essential Arts Society activity before the pandemic reaches its peak in the UK and Europe.

We therefore regret to inform you that Arts Society events and meetings for the period 16 March to 30 April will be cancelled.

Colin has asked me to contact you to advise you that the March and April meetings at the Downe Arms will not now take place. In addition, the trip to Shibden Hall will be cancelled. It is hoped that this may be arranged for a later date. If anyone would like to sign up for the trip to London, please contact Christine Goodall as soon as possible. christine.goodall28@gmail.com We will be touch with you again as soon as we have further advice and information.

In the meantime – keep well.

Best wishes,

Suzanne Meaden
Arts Society Scarborough Membership Secretary


FRIDAY, 6 MARCH 2020  CORONAVIRUS

Dear Colleagues

As the Coronavirus continues to escalate, we are issuing the following important guidance to all of our Societies.

FRIDAY, 6 MARCH 2020
THIS IS SENT TO ALL SOCIETY AND AREA CHAIRS
CORONAVIRUS


Dear Colleagues

As the Coronavirus continues to escalate, we are issuing the following important guidance to all of our Societies.

COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes COVID-19 more severely affects older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes).

Based on the WHO’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the UK from low to moderate. On 10 February, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced enhanced legal powers to protect public health, and earlier this week outlined the UK’s national response to the virus.

Whilst each Society and indeed Member must decide for themselves what precautions it may wish to take, The Arts Society strongly suggests you follow this advice:

If you or a family member is showing signs of illness, please do not attend your meetings and consult the guidance below.
We recommend that members consider refraining from any physical contact.
Wash hands thoroughly before and after meetings for 20 seconds with hot water.

Any individual who feels unwell should follow the advice from Public Health England. If an individual is known to have been infected with COVID-19, then it is standard policy for Public Health to contact all those they have been in contact with. Full co-operation is expected to ensure the risk to others is minimised.

It is currently our expectation that all scheduled national and Area meetings will continue as planned. This is based on the Government guidance that whilst exercising caution, individuals should carry on as normal. We are monitoring the situation closely and will advise in the event of any possible changes.

Should there be the necessity for the office in London to close there is a contingency plan in place. Although the switchboard will state that the office is closed where possible direct line phone numbers will have been diverted and emails will continue to be monitored.

Please find below a link to the Governments Guidance (updated daily), and also the Government Action Plan.