On Tuesday, the Family Museum in Bettendorf canceled a scheduled Oct. 28 appearance by Quad City Arts’ latest guest artist Jazzy Ash, as it requires patrons to wear face masks. The museum’s decision did not please some commentators at the 2,200-member, COVID-safe Quad Cities Facebook group.
“Why not just demand masks for this event?” It’s getting ridiculous. You SHOULD have options for people who want to attend events with masks on… or at least you don’t mind wearing them to events that require it, ”posted Katie Mettee. “You punish a whole bunch of clients that you could serve… albeit occasionally. Sad, you would rather no child experience it than need masks for an event.
“This is an opportunity for you – as an educational institution – to do what is right rather than what is outlawed by an indifferent politician,” wrote Michael Ryan.
“I am so happy that the artist places importance on her own safety and that of her audience,” said Jenny Pangolin. “I am surprised that the masks are not mandatory.”
“Gee, an artist who does not want to expose herself and innocent children to a fatal disease. How dare she! Sandra Nichols wrote on the museum’s Facebook page.
The Family Museum first posted to Facebook on Tuesday: “We are unable to require our visitors to wear masks due to the fact that we are a municipal building and the mandate set by the governor of Iowa. “
In May, Governor Kim Reynolds signed legislation that prevents the implementation of mask warrants in K-12 schools and prohibits cities and counties from requiring face covers in businesses. By law, public and private schools cannot enforce or enforce a policy requiring school employees, students, or visitors to wear face coverings while on premises – except for a “purpose. extracurricular or specific educational ”or as required by current Iowa law for eye and ear protection devices.
Masks can still be worn as an option, but cities and counties could now require landowners to have a mask policy “more stringent than a state-imposed policy.”
In mid-September, state officials were barred from enforcing Iowa law against school-issued mask warrants, after a federal judge ruled in favor of families challenging the law. A Des Moines judge has ruled that the ban on mandatory masks creates an unfair risk for students with serious health conditions to attend classes in person.
The decision meant that school districts across the state could now issue universal mask requirements, as recommended by the CDC, as long as the temporary order is in place. The Districts of Davenport and Muscatine adopted mask mandates for schools, which went into effect on September 20, and have encountered protests from parents.
Later Tuesday, after responding to comments on the Family Museum’s Facebook page, the city-owned museum posted: “The Family Museum is a department of the city of Bettendorf, so we respect their policy that masks are encouraged. but optional for guests. “
Kim Kidwell, Director of the Family Museum, said Tuesday: “The Family Museum is a department of the city of Bettendorf, so we respect their policy that masks are encouraged but not mandatory for our guests. She declined to comment further on the decision of the guest artist series.
The Scott County Health Department recommends that everyone wear a mask in indoor public places while transmission of the coronavirus is sustained and / or high in our community. In Davenport, the Putnam Museum & Science Center and the Figge Art Museum require guests to wear masks, regardless of their immunization status.
Mask policies are mixed in the Quad Cities
Kevin Maynard, executive director of Quad City Arts, said Wednesday: “The masking policies in schools have been mixed. The State of Illinois requires them in schools, as well as in all indoor environments. The state of Iowa does not mandate masks in schools, but school districts may require them and some have. Even in schools where they are not compulsory, there are students who still wear them.
“Like many places and organizations, we work with artists based on their preferences and comfort level,” he said. “Some are demanding masks, some are only asking to be distanced from their audience, and some are asking for both.
“It’s a complicated subject for artists, not only for their safety, but also for their livelihood,” Maynard said. “If a band member is exposed or gets sick, they have to quarantine themselves and that could mean the cancellation of shows. We don’t want to force our artists into a situation that they might not be comfortable with. “
Instead of the Bettendorf tour, the Moline Public Library will host Jazzy Ash on Thursday at 10:30 am. Admission is free to the library, 3210 41st St., Moline.
The state of Illinois (effective September 3) requires all people over the age of 2 who can medically tolerate a face covering wear a face covering when in indoor public places.
Born Ashli St. Armant, Jazzy Ash is a famous singer-songwriter and music teacher; founder of Leaping Lizards Music Programs, and performs nationally with her band under the name Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards. She grew up influenced by the music of her mother’s hometown of New Orleans, as well as the Trinidadian culture of her father. She trained professionally in music and theater throughout her high school and college years and holds a diploma in early childhood education.
Ash was at the Moline Library for the last time in 2019. For Thursday places are limited and registration is requested – at https://molinelibrary.librarymarket.com/…/jazzy-ash… Masks are required for all indoor library events, for people age 2 and over, regardless of vaccination status.
Jazzy Ash will also perform for free Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the Music Hall at the Muscatine Art Center (1314 Mulberry Ave., Muscatine), and they are requesting that masks be worn in the performance hall.
Get an overview of Jazzy’s musical style on his website: www.jazzyash.com.
The Quad City Arts guest artist series makes the performing arts accessible by delivering the program directly to schools and other community venues, providing access to live performances that would otherwise be out of reach. Learn more at www.quadcityarts.com/vas.