March 9: COVID-19 Update - CalArts Canceling Large Public Events on Campus

The following message was distributed to the CalArts community from the CalArts Emergency Response Team:

In an effort to keep our students, faculty, and staff as safe as possible, and to reduce potential for exposure to COVID-19, effective Tuesday, March 10, the Institute is postponing or cancelling all large public events through Saturday, April 11, 2020. All on-campus events will be limited to fewer than 50 individuals who are not CalArts students, faculty, or staff. 

Staff in the office of the Provost and Operations stand ready to support campus event organizers of internal events to help consider the necessary precautions for their activities, as well as to provide guidance or information that should be shared with attendees about campus prevention efforts.

Faculty, students, and staff should also refrain from organizing or scheduling any new public events through May 1, 2020.

For campus events that are to continue as scheduled, we ask that organizers make every effort to restrict attendance to the internal community-students, staff, and faculty. Many of our public events such as performances, exhibitions, visiting lectures, etc. include outside guests, but it is often unclear just how many people will attend. At this time, we encourage students, faculty, and staff to make every effort to control attendance via RSVP or registered attendance. If you have a question or concern about a specific event you can submit them to

This restriction applies to CalArts’ K-12 outreach programs, tours, and activities on campus, as well as a wide range of public performances and gatherings in venues across campus. Given the dynamic nature of the situation, this policy may be applied more broadly and/or extended. Public events beyond April 11 will be evaluated on a three-week rolling basis. Regular updates on any future cancellations will be shared via the COVID-19 information webpage and community emails.

For those events that will still occur on campus, the California Department of Public Health recommends the following:

  • Instruct any participants or event staff not to attend if they have flu-like symptoms, respiratory issues (cough or runny nose) or fever regardless of the presumed cause.
  • Remind participants and staff not to attend if they have traveled within the past 14 days to an area identified by the CDC as having a Level 3 Travel Health Notice due to COVID-19.
  • Recommend that participants and staff at higher risk of severe illness not attend.
  • Ensure that event venues are well ventilated and are adequately equipped with facilities for hand washing and supplies, including hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, tissues, and trash baskets.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning commonly used areas with detergent and water, followed by a disinfectant that is EPA-approved for emerging viral pathogens. Event organizers can reach out to the Facilities Department for assistance.  
  • Encourage participants to minimize close contact (e.g., recommend no handshaking or hugging).
  • Maintain a registration list of participants, including students, faculty, staff, and guests; this will significantly assist local public health in contact tracing in the event a person with a COVID-19 case should later be identified as having attended the event.
  • Promote messages that discourage people who are sick from attending events. Create refund policies that permit participants the flexibility to stay home when they are sick, need to care for sick household members, or are at high risk for complications from COVID-19.
  • Provide alternative options for attending the event via phone, video, or web applications.

Performances and public events hosted at REDCAT are continuing, and we are following guidance from LA County as REDCAT is hosted within the county-owned Walt Disney Hall.

As a reminder, participants in any CalArts event must adhere to our policy regarding self-quarantining upon return from travel to a country with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice. Currently, this includes China, Iran, South Korea, and Italy. The CDC updates its travel notices regularly; please visit the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.

If you or a family member is experiencing any flu-like symptoms, respiratory symptoms (cough or runny nose) or fever, we ask that you stay home. Do not come to campus, and that you communicate with your faculty and/or supervisor to make them aware of your situation. This applies to members of the CalArts community and visitors to our campus.

This decision was not reached lightly, as we know this is a significant impact on the normal routine of our spring semester. In weighing this difficult decision, we considered the even greater disruption should we have an outbreak on our campus and be forced to close the Institute and cancel all classes and events.

Thank you to everyone who is working so hard to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on our community and to keep us safe and healthy. 

Go to Coronavirus Information and Updates