Map of North America showing states and provinces with Web Chat participantsWeb Chats: Lifelines for Organizers in 2021

By Linda Henry

“A beacon of clarity in a fog of confusion.” —Mac Sloan, Berlin MA

During yet another pandemic year, attendance for our third year of Web Chats increased 45%! We reached 1,236 participants from 43 states, five provinces, the UK, and Australia. These online conversations provided much-needed connections and resources for organizers struggling to keep their communities alive and well.

Here are glimpses of our 2021 Web Chats, which also included Q&A and breakout sessions. To delve further, check out the Web Chats page for videos, transcriptions, and other materials. Email resources@cdss.org with questions.

January 13: Singing and Playing Music in REAL TIME!

Members of a Sacred Harp group and local band shared their advice and experiences. By using the software Jamulus, they have successfully tackled the challenges of creating online song and music sessions. They also provided resource links and video clips of singing and playing music together in real time.

The next three Web Chats continued our Let’s Talk About Reentry series:

March 1: Part 3: An MD Discusses Vaccines, and We Discuss Our Sector’s Needs

During this Web Chat, an MD presented his knowledge about vaccines in the US. We also included discussions about how the pandemic has altered our communities’ needs and ways to best prepare for returning to in-person activities.

May 19: Part 4: Addressing Legal and Other Burning Questions

An attorney addressed our broad community’s legal questions and provided a template waiver. We also heard current perspectives from an epidemiologist, insurance considerations from a CDSS staff member, and questions from an organizer to help groups chart their course for a safe reopening.

August 12: Part 5: News from Groups That Have Resumed In-person Events

A public health professional provided the latest COVID news and considerations for safely resuming events. Organizers of a dance community and a song group shared first-hand experiences and suggestions for navigating reentry.

November 1: Weathering the Winter Together

A public health professor presented information and concrete planning considerations for organizers who are planning pandemic-era events. Discussions in breakout rooms generated ideas for keeping groups connected in the coming months.

Recent Web Chat on February 28, 2022:
Let’s Talk About Reentry, Part 6:
Prioritizing Safety at In-person Dances

A panel of dance organizers shared their experiences and recommendations for carefully and safely resuming events. Topics included their decision-making processes to prepare for reopening, adjustments they have made along the way, and outcomes of their experiments. For more information about our next Web Chat, visit the Web Chats page.

We also launched an exciting new online resource: Groups that Have Resumed In-person Events. If your group is considering or preparing for reentry, this resource is designed especially for you! It allows organizers who have re-opened their activities to share their experiences.

     
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