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Oglebay Institute Adapting During Pandemic

Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center is poised to house the annual ‘Crosscurrents’ exhibit slated to begin June 25.

WHEELING – Oglebay Institute is a fixture in the Ohio Valley, bringing art, music, theater, educational camps and more to the young and young at heart. However, the COVID-19 pandemic put a screeching halt to all of its in-person activities for more than two months.

While OI President Danielle Cross McCracken and her staff have been working toward bringing some programs back to fruition, summer camps slated for June have been put on hold. Oglebay Institute has been offering safe, well-supervised, educational camps for children for more than 50 years.

Camps are routinely held from June through August.

She said the state health commission is not advising any face-to-face youth camps at least for the month of June. It is a matter of waiting to see what the next step will be for the camps.

“Like everyone else, we are watching government and local health officials for guidance.” McCracken said. “We have been in contact with the American Camp Association and the American Camp Nurses Association for guidance regarding special protocol if and when we can move forward. It made me feel good that we have already incorporated procedures. Mainly we’ve been working since this started on how we can adapt to the circumstance.”

Anyone who has a child who is already registered for a June camp may request a full refund, have OI hold their registration fee to apply to the new camp date or another camp later in the summer (if it is deemed safe to proceed), or elect to designate those funds as a tax-deductible donation to help support Oglebay Institute during these difficult financial times. More information regarding canceled camps and new camps dates is available at www.OIonline.com/camps.

In addition to the camps, Oglebay Institute holds art exhibits at the Stifel Fine Arts Center on National Road in Wheeling. It also provides tours at the Oglebay Mansion Museum, programs at the Schrader Environmental Center and tours of the Oglebay Institute Glass Museum at Carriage House Glass, all located at Oglebay Park. OI offers plays, movies and other entertainment at its Towngate Theatre in Center Wheeling. To date, some programming has been available online and Facebook to date.

“Our hope is that we will be able to open our other facilities on June 1. We will be putting into place special protocol for staff and visitors … following guidelines about spacing and how many people will be able to do so as well,” McCracken said.

“We are very excited about presenting two upcoming exhibits in the coming weeks, ‘Orchidelirium: The Scientific, Social and Sentimental Passion of Adelaide Stifel,’ which is set to open at the Mansion Museum in early June, and the annual ‘Crosscurrents exhibit at the Stifel Fine Arts Center that is slated to begin June 25,” she said.

Patrons will be able to enjoy “Crosscurrents” in person and through Facebook. Also, a new online art sales component will be available through the run of this exhibit. Artists who would like to be considered for “Crosscurrents” can apply online through May 31 via this link at oionline.com/stifel/crosscurrents.

McCracken said the new online component will make the artwork available on a broader platform. “We want to deliver on our missions to keep people engaged.”

Announcements will be made as OI opens its various venues for in-person visits.

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