How Hamilton’s Fitton Center is providing programming virtually during coronavirus shutdown

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is offering a variety of digital programming for children and families during the coronavirus shutdown on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Kate Rowekamp, director of education and digital content producer at the Fitton Center, said the focus of the virtual programming is two-fold. In the morning, they are creating new content, or sharing things like The Newbees concert. Then, in the afternoon, they are sharing things that are going on from all over the nation and the world.

“So, if there’s a theater company that’s offering online versions of their shows, we are posting about that so that people have these resources,” Rowekamp said, “In terms of the things we are doing in the morning for the Fitton Center, we’ve been creating how-to videos, time-lapse videos and other things to connect to our own creative community, to let people know we’re here and we want to support them.”

Kids can watch for a variety of art projects, such as how to make an at-home clay recipe, or a stained-glass chalk art activity. Participants have already been responding by sharing photos and videos of their own projects online.

There are also video visits with Fitton Center staff members and interns from Miami University Hamilton.

“It can get boring to be home with no sort of arts engagement at all, whether that’s watching a movie, or working on a painting, so we want to make sure that we’re involved,” Rowekamp said.

She said with virtual programming, you can communicate with people by video, you can do a voice chat, and you can share images online.

“It’s been cool to see different creatives sharing. If they can’t perform live, we can stream a video so that people can still be involved, and I think it’s been great. It would be so much more challenging to get through this time of isolation without having the internet to connect with each other,” Rowekamp said.

Every day in the morning, weekdays, patrons can engage in Fitton Center produced content, such as a streamed show, a project walk-through or a demonstration. In the afternoon, there will be resources and content links, sharing other creative opportunities from art institutions all over the world. There are a lot of different ways for children, adults and families to participate.

“We are always trying to bring in more people to our creative community… And, we’re always trying to add value to our community arts center and make it really beneficial for the people in our area,” Rowekamp said.

The Fitton Center has cancelled or will reschedule all of the live events for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. Fitton Center officials have said the center is following the guidance of the City of Hamilton Health Department and the State of Ohio and have continued to strictly follow the advice and instruction of the health commissioner during this time.

All events, classes and workshops have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. However, several digital offerings are being made available to patrons, including the 7th Biennial Fitton Center Member Show exhibition, which will happen online, starting sometime in May.

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