(updated: June 9, 2020)
Dear Wellspring House Community,
We hope this update finds you healthy and safe. As part of its reopening, the state of Massachusetts has initiated a four-stage plan for the opening of non-essential businesses. On June 8th, Massachusetts begins Phase Two of this process, which allows for hotels and lodging-like businesses such as Wellspring House to reopen.
We had eagerly hoped to resume residencies during this second phase of the process, but after careful review of the criteria for reopening, we have discovered certain criteria that will unfortunately not allow us to move forward with opening during the first half of the summer as planned.
The two most daunting restrictions for reopening Wellspring House include the prohibition of shared kitchen spaces and the stipulation that no printed materials (books, papers, etc.) be on site in common areas or residency suites. (You can read the full guidelines here at the state’s website.) We understand that these criteria are in place for keeping communities such as ours safe and healthy as the situation with the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve, and with our ninety-year-old director living onsite, we are committed to ensuring the health and safety of all community members. For that reason, we are currently holding off on reopening.
As we have done these last few months, we will continue to monitor federal, state, and local updates in the coming weeks. We hope to reopen sometime later this summer, though everything remains uncertain and of course there is a good chance that we will be unable to open until the fall. For those of you who have already rescheduled residencies with us, we thank you for your patience, understanding, and flexibility thus far as we’ve navigated this challenging process. For those of you with residencies currently planned for June through July, we regret to inform you that we must reschedule those residencies for a later time. For those of you with residencies scheduled for August, we can leave you as scheduled for the time being, but with your gracious understanding that there is a chance that we may not yet be able to reopen Wellspring House by those dates.
We understand that this is complicated and that your schedule may not allow for flexibility. Therefore, anyone wishing to cancel their scheduled residency can do so. Any payments we have received thus far will be reimbursed. If you’d like to reschedule, we will simply transfer your payment accordingly. All residencies, however, are ultimately contingent on state and federal decisions and guidelines regarding Covid-19. We value the Wellspring House literary and artistic community that you have all helped to blossom and grow here in Ashfield. With that hopeful artistic spirit in mind, we will continue to take scheduling requests through to December, but please be mindful that things may change as we continue to weather this current challenge.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding,
John & Aubrey