The ARTS/West building. File art.

The City of Athens Arts, Parks and Recreation Department will reopen the ARTS/West facility on Tuesday, Jan. 5.

The ARTS/West facility, located at 132 W. State St., has been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ARTS/West business hours will be limited and by appointment only. Business hours at the building will now be Tuesday through Friday, 2-6 p.m. Director Terri Moore stated at the Dec. 17 Athens Recreation Advisory Board meeting that moving toward spring, the department may consider offering Saturday hours.

In addition, the Southeast Ohio Musical Lending Library, a program that offers musical instruments and equipment to ARTS/West members, will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-6 p.m., offering curbside pickup to those who request it, a press release from the Arts, Parks and Recreation department stated.

Other programs associated with the arts building are slated for reopening:

Gallery shows will resume starting on Friday, Feb. 12 with the annual “For the Love of Athens” photo show. Appointments to see the monthly gallery display are required and will ensure that no more than ten patrons are in the gallery at a time.

New programming will include the launch of weekly “Crafternoon” classes for children grades K-3, and begin on Wednesday, Jan. 13.

“Crafternoon” classes will enroll no more than nine participants per class, with virtual options offered.

The “Afternoon Arts” afterschool classes will begin after Athens City School’s spring break ends on Monday, March 15.

Starting in mid-March, arts-based adult classes will be offered by the facility.

The City of Athens is in the process of installing fiber optic cable at the facility, along with the video recording equipment to allow for virtual and streaming content to be produced.

Live-streaming content is reportedly being planned and developed, and production will begin once all equipment has been installed, the press release stated. The creation of streamable content at the facility has been a critical point of conversation among city leadership during the building’s closure.

The facility may be available to rent on a case by case basis for small user groups, after Jan. 5, the press release stated.

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