Updated on July 1, 2020
Dear Civic Hall Community:
First and foremost, we hope you and your families are safe and well.
In early March, COVID-19 forced us to take dramatic action to protect ourselves and the Civic Hall community. We shut down our collaborative workspace here in NYC and stopped hosting in-person events, originally hoping that we might be back in our space in just a few short weeks. More than three months have now passed, and despite the city’s recent shift to “Phase Two” of the re-opening, we do not believe that we can safely use our space in a meaningful way anytime soon.
In the member survey we conducted in early May, a majority of members (57%) felt that they would not come back to the space to work (or were unsure if they would come back) without a vaccine or robust testing and tracing. In addition, 67% felt that they would not be comfortable attending events of more than 10 people without those same conditions in place. While testing is more robust, tracing still faces many hurdles, and a vaccine is not available yet. In addition, the physical configuration of Civic Hall’s current space (on the 12th floor, small elevators, almost totally open floor plan) would create a situation in which it would be very difficult to keep people safe.
Because of that, we have decided to exit our space on 22nd Street and shift to a fully virtual community hub (at least for the time being).
Needless to say, this makes us all very sad. Over the last five years, the Civic Hall community has become a real extended family. We’ve gone through a lot of changes together. We’ve celebrated the birth of children; we’ve mourned the loss of loved ones. We’ve helped each other deal with challenges big and small. Being together on a regular basis in a shared space has fostered many wonderful friendships, collaborations and partnerships. Losing our physical home hurts.
But we’re not giving up on the mission of Civic Hall, and we invite you to join us on this journey as we shift to going fully virtual.
Civic Hall was founded to help build a more just, equitable and democratic society. We do that by building the power and capacity of civic-minded people and organizations. In this moment of crisis, we still have tremendous choice and opportunity for impact. As reflected in our recent statement on racial injustice, we plan to center our programming and resources on those who are working to address systemic issues. And we are going to start by moving our community onto a new digital platform that is designed to make it much easier for our members to share what they’re thinking and working on, and to connect to each other as well as to resources we offer, like events, meet-and-greets, skills workshops, and our expert directory.
Later this summer, we’ll be launching a much more robust online home for our community, and will be sharing more about that and new membership pricing soon.
If you’re a current member of Civic Hall, you should have received a separate email with details on how to retrieve items from the space, etc. If you didn’t receive the email or have further questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We certainly have every intention of reconstituting the physical Civic Hall community when it is safe to do so. But in the meantime, this change is not only the safe thing to do but the financially prudent thing to do, enabling us to keep our whole team intact and to focus on making the most of digital tools to hold our community together, and indeed grow.
Now we are all in the same boat. Let’s get rowing! And keep checking back here for the latest updates.
All our best,
The Civic Hall Team
Our team will take the following holidays off in 2020:
Wednesday, Jan 1: New Year’s Day
Monday, Jan 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, Feb 17: Presidents’ Day
Monday, May 25: Memorial Day
Friday, June 19: Juneteenth
Friday, Jul 3: Independence Day (day before, we close at 5pm)
Monday, Sep 7: Labor Day
Monday, Oct 12: Indigenous People’s Day (Columbus Day)
Wednesday, Nov 11: Veteran’s Day
Thursday, Nov 26: Thanksgiving Day (day before, we close at 5pm)
Friday, Nov 27: Day after Thanksgiving Day
Thursday, Dec 24 (day before, we close at 5pm)–Friday, Dec 31
If you’re looking to collaborate on your next virtual event at Civic Hall, you can learn more here!
Have other questions about Civic Hall? Or have feedback to offer us? Please fill out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.