COVID-19 Community Update: All locations closed. CLICK HERE for info for students & concert goers

Community Message from Old Town School

Updated: March 20, 2020, 1:20 PM

It's strange not being able to share our art and gather together... to make music and dance when the world so clearly needs it.

We know you're receiving a lot of communication from organizations trying to find a way through this uncertain time but we wanted to provide some updates on what Old Town School is working on to keep as many students engaged in learning and music making as well as how we are supporting the staff and faculty who are directly impacted by suspension of services.

Following guidance from local and state officials, Old Town School of Folk Music campuses are closed to the public and all jams, community events, and public gatherings are canceled until further notice. Scheduled concerts through April 30 will be rescheduled or canceled.

Beginning the week of Monday, March 23 we will be transitioning many classes and private lessons to online options. Your teacher or the School will reach out to you with specific instructions on how to participate. Given the creative nature of our programming, many classes do not easily transfer to online services and those classes will be canceled for the remainder of this session and your class will be credited to your account for use in a future session.

Thank you for your patience - we look forward to opening our doors and welcoming you back as soon as possible. In the meantime, we are looking forward to playing music and gathering together online.

SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Q: How can I help? How do I help my teachers and Old Town School staff if they're not working or need money during the crisis?
A: The most critical way to continue to support Old Town School faculty and staff is to continue to participate in classes and events when we come through this crisis period.

Many in our community have begun to reach out with financial support and any assistance you can provide to support faculty & staff during this uncertain time is greatly appreciated. Please consider a yearly membership, or visit this GoFundMe page supporting our staff and faculty assistance program with a donation of whatever you can afford.

If your concert or class has been canceled or postponed to a date you cannot attend, consider donating your credit back to the School to support this effort. Together we can ensure our community of artists and staff will be able to continue operating Old Town School for many years to come.

Q: Can I take my class online? Can I get a refund or credit for my class?
A: Many group classes and private lessons will be resuming online beginning the week of March 23, 2020. If you are unable to participate or choose not to join your class online we will credit your account for use in a future session. Some classes will not translate to an online option and some faculty may be unable to teach class remotely, otherwise classes will be continuing as regularly scheduled. The session may be extended a week to make up for the lost week of programming, we hope to have additional information on our session schedule in the near future.

The current priority is getting as many classes running as possible to keep faculty employed and our students engaged and entertained during this unprecedented situation. This is a new way of operating during this crisis and we are doing everything possible to prioritize the student experience with what you have come to expect from Old Town School classes and lessons. We appreciate your patience and welcome your feedback during this transitionary period.

Currently enrolled students will receive specific instructions related to your individual class or private lesson including information on how to participate in online classes.

If your class is canceled, this session’s credit can be converted into a refund at some point in the near future, please bear with us as our customer service team is currently overwhelmed with requests and we will reach out with more information. Please also consider donating your refund back to the School to assist our effort to support faculty and staff during this uncertain time.

Q: What about my upcoming concert ticket or concerts in the future?
A: We are working to reschedule upcoming concerts and many have new dates already scheduled. We will be providing specific information to each purchaser with updated information.

Your ticket purchase and seat locations from the originally scheduled concert will be honored for the rescheduled show. If you are unable to attend and would like a refund, please contact our box office at 773.728.6000. If you are unable to attend, please consider donating your refund to the School during this challenging time to help support staff and faculty.

Please visit oldtownschool.org/concerts or see the sidebar on this page (or see below on mobile) for updated information.

Q: Does Old Town School have any cases of COVID-19 exposure?
A: We have not been informed of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our student, faculty or staff population. There have been confirmed cases in schools and elsewhere within the north side of Chicago and we are committed to transparency during this crisis situation.

The safety and security of our students, staff, and entire School community remain our top priority. We will continue to update this page and individual students and staff members if additional information becomes available as soon as possible. The Old Town School leadership team continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely every day and is following the recommendations of local health authorities, and the CDC.

Q: Are you accepting new students for online classes and private lessons?
A: Our current priority is for our currently enrolled students to continue with classes and lessons. We are working diligently to develop and create some programming which could include online pop-up workshops, free musical events and other experiences to keep our fellow Chicagoans entertained and engaged with music and dance.

If you're interested in anything specific please email customerservice@oldtownschool.org and keep an eye on this page and our social media for more info in the near future.

Q: What else can I do?
A: Keep creating. Keep making music. Keep dancing. Keep sharing with our community online. Our doors may be closed but our hearts and ears are open.

Share your Old Town School At Home experience. We want to see your instruments and your recording studios. We want to share with your kids wiggling and singing. Share a song you've written, lyrics you're working on or how you're staying busy. Tag @oldtownschool and #OTSatHome and we will be sure to follow back and share your journey as well.

Customer Service Information
We are here to help. Thank you in advance for your patience during this challenging time.
773-728-6000 - Monday - Friday 10am to 4pm
customerservice@oldtownschool.org
Reach out to us on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Resources

Chicago Department Of Public Health (COVID-19)

Illinois Department Of Public Health (COVID-19)

Centers For Disease Control & Prevention (COVID-19)