Orcas Center remains closed at until otherwise directed by county officials, and during this time we will be posting information to navigate the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic specifically for Orcas Islanders and those in the artistic community. If you have information that would be appropriate for us to share, please feel free email info@OrcasCenter.org and let us know!

Resources for Orcas Center’s COVID-19 Recovery

Government Resources
The Phases of Re-Opening
Can You Help?
Mask Resources
Health Resources
Food Resources
Local Information
For Professional and Family Caregivers
For Seniors
For Parents and Children
Supporting Artists
Exploring the Arts Online
Support WA Businesses
Orcas Center Show Archive

Government Resources

CLICK HERE for the SJC COVID-19 Case Count – updated each Thursday, except when new cases arise (excluding weekends).
CLICK HERE for SJC Economic Development Council – Small Business information. Including links for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), CARES Act information, Bridge loans,

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The Phases of Re-Opening

“Businesses approved to move into Phase 2 must comply with all health and safety requirements outlined in the guidance to reopen. Additionally, San Juan County Public Health Officer Dr. Frank James has required everyone to wear a face-covering when inside businesses in the islands….According to a Facebook post by the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, the county entered Phase Two at 1:29 p.m. on May 23.” Read the full article from The Sounder HERE.
On Wednesday June 3rd, San Juan County Health Officer Dr. Frank James signed a new order that modifies the previous limits on transient lodging in San Juan County. All transient lodging operators are allowed to operate at 50% capacity, provided they adhere to specific safety guidelines released with the new order. Read the full press release HERE.

There will be at least three weeks in between each phase to monitor effects. From The News Tribune:

PHASE ONE: Began Tuesday, May 5th
Essentially the current phase with minor changes allowing for outdoor recreation. By mid-May, the state will allow retail curbside pickup; automobile sales; and car washes with social distancing restrictions. This phase also would allow drive-in spiritual services with one household per vehicle.

PHASE TWO: Began Saturday, May 23rd
Additional expansions of outdoor recreation activities would be allowed, as well as small gatherings of 5 or fewer people, new construction and in-store retail purchases with health restrictions. Barber shops and salons could reopen and house cleaning services. Restaurants could reopen with 50 percent capacity and table size no larger than 5. Some professional services and offices could open up as well, even though teleworking would remain strongly encouraged. Pet care services including grooming could resume.

Gatherings of 50 people or less, including sports activities, would be allowed, and non-essential travel could resume. Restaurants could move up to 75 percent capacity and tables up to 10 people, and bars at 25 percent capacity; gyms and movie theaters could reopen at 50 percent capacity; retail, libraries, museums and government buildings could reopen. Recreational facilities like pools could open at 50 percent capacity. Nightclubs and entertainment venues would still not be able to reopen.

PHASE FOUR: (Orcas Center returns!)
Would involve resuming the majority of public interactions. Gatherings of more than 50 people would be allowed, but still while practicing social distancing.

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Can You Help?

Jean Dickerson would love some volunteers to help in the Memorial Garden with Spring weeding and other tasks. She will be dividing perennials so anyone coming to help will likely go home with some for their own gardens. Contact Jean at 360-376-4433 for information.
OICF’s Community Emergency Response Fund makes weekly emergency distributions. 328 donors have contributed $400,000 to this fund; $319,500 is already hard at work in the community serving neighbors in need. These funds have ensured that nonprofits and programs have the resources needed to provide critical support to keep families in houses, keep them fed, and keep them safe. Donate now to this fund through the OICF website OICF.us
People interested in volunteering should continue to be directed to the website: orcas.recovers.org. This website is a place where potential volunteers can post they are available and their interest, and island organizations can post their needs. It’s helpful for volunteers to use the # followed by an interest; e.g. #OPAL; #foodbank; #seniorcheck
The Community Shelter Task Force is working hard to ensure that all on Orcas have both a place and a shelter to Shelter in place. They are seeking donations of folding tables, hoses, extension cords, and market tents. In addition, we would be deeply grateful for trailers or fifth wheels. With the return of the rain, our tents are not providing adequate shelter. shelter@oicf.us
Also, sleeping bags (10), bedding, pillows, and towels. Cookware and propane cook stoves (need 4). Picnic tables (need 4), and several hoses and extension cords (the orange kind for outdoor use). If you have any of these to offer, please post what you have to give on orcas.recovers.org #sheltersupport, and we will be in touch. Thank YOU!

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Mask Resources

Oscar has his mask…do you?

Free Masks Available!

The Orcas mask-sewers are able to provide homemade individually, clean bagged face masks available free of charge at Rays Pharmacy, Island Hardware, and through the Orcas Food Co-op catalog. Or contact Mary Gropp at Masks4Orcas@gmail.com
These masks are available as gifts to Islanders who need them. Donations are greatly appreciated to cover the expenses of our materials through the Community Emergency Response Fund of OICF. Please contact www.oicf.us for more information.
We are truly grateful to all who have worked tirelessly to make masks for our community and to all of you who have supported and will continue to support our efforts.

The Mask Makers Still Need Help Sewing!
Here’s how to help: E-mail: Nancy Schafer at orcasmaskmakers@gmail.com to sew, donate fabrics, supplies.
If you need to borrow a sewing machine to help make masks: contact Asifa@Exchangeorcas.org

Mask Making on Orcas

Volunteer Mask Making on Orcas Island from Orcas Center on Vimeo.

The Orcas Island Community Foundation has created a series of posters for businesses and organizations to use as they see fit to encourage mask wearing in their establishments. There are seven posters both in English and Spanish with different messages. They are bright, cheerful and easily seen from a distance.
Establishments can use the messages that they feel most comfortable with and that will speak best to their clientele. You can also chose to mix and match if you wish.
The PDFs are print-ready 8.5x11s. Click HERE for English. Click HERE for Spanish
San Juan County and the Visitor’s Bureau also offers posters. You can find those here.

We want to help reopen as safely and peacefully as possible. To that end, Paul Berry and Ed Andrews have put together a guide for conflict management.

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Health Resources

Are you feeling overwhelmed?
If you or a loved one is experiencing increased anxiety, depression and/or isolation as a result of the COVID-19 virus, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the following help lines:

  • Mental Health Crisis Hot Line: Call the 24-hour mental health crisis line operated by Volunteers of America: 1-800-584-3578 or go to www.imhurting.org.
  • Emotional Support Help Line (1-866-342-6892): Connects people with caring professionals. The services is free of charge and available to anyone, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Click here for additional information.
  • Washington Warm Line (1-877-500-9276): Peer support help line for people living with emotional and mental health challenges. For specific information on COVID-19 related needs, see https://mhanational.org/covid19.

A New Mental Health Directory for San Juan County
The outbreak of COVID-19 has led many people to feel anxiety, grief and stress. Thero.org is a nonprofit based on Orcas Island. They have built a local mental health resource directory for San Juan County and are recruiting volunteers to help keep it updated. Search for resources at thero.org/sanjuan or info@thero.org to learn how to help the volunteer team.

Crisis Therapy Project
Thero.org also has an initiative called the Crisis Therapy Project. It uses their resource directory to connect therapists who are offering free therapy to people who are affected by a crisis (i.e. mass shootings, natural disasters, disease outbreaks). Anyone can search for free therapy for COVID-related stress at thero.org/crisis/COVID. Licensed therapists can learn how to offer free therapy at thero.org/crisis#offerhelp.

SAFE San Juans
SAFE San Juans response to the COVID-19 crisis has been to increase staff availability, work to expand short-term emergency and longer-term transitional shelter options, build remote/video support capability for staff and clients, increase client aid, and add interactive online prevent-education options for students as they study from home.

The SAFE staff personally understand the trauma of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse, and they are working hard to keep the agency’s doors open to those who are suffering. We secured additional office space in order to create a place for clients where appropriate distances can be maintained and surfaces disinfected. Some of our staff are single parents who wound up having to stay home to care for and homeschool their children. We created home offices for them so they can continue serving to the best of their ability. confident that however things unfold, we will carry out our mission well. If you are suffering from domestic or sexual violence or their longer term effects, please reach out to us at 360-376-5979.

From the Recovery Community:
Alcoholics Anonymous offers 10 zoom meetings/week, covering every day of the week. Their website is www.orcasislandaa.org. There is a local phone number for info/requests: 360-376-4522.

Island Reproductive Health Initiative (IRHI) is providing resources including:

  • CONDOMS free for anyone (OCRC, SAFE SJs, Rays, Orcas Food Coop, The Kitchen).
  • PLAN B (Morning After Pill): FREE for IRHI patients.
  • REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE: Most Services FREE for IRHI patients.

For more information, go to www.irhiorcas.weebly, www.facebook.com/IRHIorcas, or contact Jean Henigson (360-376-6549)

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Food Resources

Food Bank Update
The Food Bank staff, volunteers and board thank the Orcas community for the wonderful outpouring of support during the GiveOrcas campaign. With your help we’re feeding increasing numbers of our island neighbors, offering food sourced from on island as much as we can. Your generosity makes us all so glad and proud to be part of this great community. Thank you!

The Food Bank is looking for volunteers! Our new way of operating requires more help than the old operation did. We’ve had great volunteers, but we’re now in need of more. Volunteers pick up deliveries, portion bulk products, pack food boxes, move inventory around, and manage donations. The schedule varies, and the work is done in a safe and sanitary manner. Right now we need folks no older than 50 who can lift 25-50 pounds. Please call or text the Food Bank Manager at 360.317.6958 to volunteer, or send a message through our Facebook page. This is a perfect fit for teens during the summer.
The Food Bank is open Tuesdays and Fridays, 3:00-6:00 pm. Orcas residents needing food may come both days. Questions? Contact us at 376-4445 or orcasislandfoodbank@centurylink.net.

Island Market – New Store Hours are 8am-6pm until further notice
The Market is monitoring and, at times, limiting the number of people in the store to protect employees and customers. Please only come to the store for essentials and team up with friends and neighbors to make one trip instead of many. Customers are asked to wait outside if capacity is reached. In case you do have to wait a bit, here are some tips:
– It is still chilly outside. Bring something warm to wear
– Please do not bring your reusable bags at this time
– There is a hand-washing sink set up just inside the door; Everyone must wash their hands before shopping
– The aisles have changed due to the reconstruction project. There are maps to help you find your items. CLICK HERE for a printable version of the new-store layout to help you with your shopping.
– Please stay home
if you are sick or a family member is sick.
– Watch the below video for more tips when shopping at your local grocer:

Orcas Food Co-Op

In order to protect customers, employees, and communities, the Co-Op is only providing curbside pick-up and home delivery at this time.  Current turnaround time is 24-hours. Place an order online at: www.orcasfood.coop. Watch the video below for some tips:

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Local Information

San Juan County Health and Community Services staff was notified of a new positive COVID-19 test result in San Juan County, on San Juan Island on June 20. This brings the total number of cases in San Juan County to 17. Read the full article in The Sounder.

The Mayoral Race is on!

The 2020 Eastsound Mayoral race is being held in a new online-only format with many great candidates to choose from. But why choose just one? This is the only race for mayor where you can vote multiple times for any candidate and all proceeds raised during this election go to support the Orcas Island Children’s House. But hurry – this mayoral race only runs through July 4th!

The Library is now offering curbside pickup
The library invites you to reserve books, DVDs, and other materials through their website at www.orcaslibrary.org, by searching the online catalog, identifying items you want, and placing the request (or “hold”) using your account information. Items will be available for pickup at the front entrance between 12:00 and 3:00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This approval is for curbside pickup only: no one is allowed inside the building…More Information

Winter ferry schedule remains in effect
The Winter schedule will remain in effect until further notice, although additional service may be phased in over time. Ferry reservations for June 21st-Sept 26th were released on Friday. Read the full article in the Sounder.
WSF Fare Increase Information
On Friday, May 1, the Washington State Transportation Commission, enacted the following:
  • Passenger fare increase 2.0% – applied to all routes
  • Vehicle fare increase 2.5% – applied to all routes
  • Annual Peak Season Surcharge (May 1 – September 30, 2020): 25% increase on single vehicle fare purchases (35% increase for San Juan Islands routes)
  • Capital Surcharge increased 25 cents per fare (for a total of 50 cents per fare) dedicated to the construction of a new vessel.
A fare calculator is available online. Fare brochures won’t be printed for this fare change. Until June 20th, the route will operate on a three-boat schedule instead of its usual four-boat service. However, all passengers seeking to travel should be able to do so without reservations due to declines in ridership increasing the amount of available standby space. wsdot.wa.gov/ferries

The Exchange re-opens June 18th
The Exchange reuse store, located at the Orcas Island Transfer Station, will re-open on Thursday, June 18th, with normal days and hours of operation, Thursday – Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, due to Covid and an expected post lock-down tsunami of incoming material, operations will be very different than usual. Read more on The Exchange website.

Doe Bay Fest and Imagine Festival are Cancelled
Doe Bay Fest Coordinator, Jami Mitchell, announced this week that Doe Bay Fest 13, which was scheduled to occur at Doe Bay Resort and Retreat, August 6-9 is officially cancelled for 2020, as is the Imagine festival also hosted at Doe Bay Resort. Read the full press release.

Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival (OICMF) Update
OICMF is thrilled to announce a major online initiative to feature the Miró Quartet performing the complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets. “It became clear that it is not possible to present an in-person festival in August,” said Artistic Director Aloysia Friedmann, “and only musicians who are quarantined together can perform live chamber music online. I am incredibly grateful to the members of the Miró Quartet for being so accommodating with their personal schedules to make these online concerts possible.” Read the full press release.

Murder Hornets Spotted in Blaine

(Because apparently we didn’t have enough to deal with)

Just remember that these hornets do not generally attack humans unless provoked. But, their sting can be nearly 7 times as venomous as a regular hornet. (Be sure to keep your epi-pen with you if you’re allergic to stings!) They pose a huge threat to the honey-bee population – and in turn, a large percentage of our food supply. Hornets and Wasps not only love to live in the nooks and crannies of homes, but in your mailbox as well! Be sure to do some spring cleaning and regularly look for nests so that you (and your friendly postal worker) don’t get any surprises!

Outdoor Recreation Slowly Returns (YAY!!!)
On Tuesday, May 5th, state parks (including Moran), fishing, hunting, and golf will be re-opened. It is important to note:
  • Anyone exhibiting any cold or flu-like symptoms shall not participate in outdoor recreation activities.
  • Any state parks, state public lands, hunting and fishing seasons, golf facilities, trails, and other public parks, public lands and trails may be closed at any time if there is reason to believe unsafe conditions exist or social distancing practices are not being adhered to.
  • People must recreate locally: Do not travel farther than necessary and do not stay overnight to recreate.
  • Limit your recreation partners to only those who live within your household unit.
  • Practice social distancing at trailheads, boat launches, and all areas where you encounter others.
  • Utilize facial coverings in any situation where social distancing is not possible.
  • Bring your own food and supplies when possible. This will help protect others in your community.
  • The Golf Alliance of Washington has been working to provide appropriate social distancing and limits on activities. These include spacing out tee times, limits on size of parties, walking-only (unless someone needs to be in the cart for mobility reasons), no on-site beverage or food service (take-away only, just as with other food service) and more.

Residential Water Application Process for Financial Assistance
The Orcas Community Resource Center has agreed to work with Eastsound Water to manage the program for RESIDENTIAL water users. You may apply when you have a current water bill in hand, starting with bills issued in April.
The Resource Center will use their standard New Client Intake Form as an application. This form can be found at the bottom of the front page of their website. https://orcascrc.org/ You can also contact the OCRC by emailing holly@orcascrc.org or leave a message at 360-376-3184.
The application provided to OCRC is confidential, and not shared with Eastsound Water. Eastsound Water will provide the Resource Center with documentation of the applicant’s account status. Based on this data, the Resource Center will determine an appropriate financial aid for each applicant’s current water bill.
OCRC will communicate their approved financial assistance with the applicant and Eastsound Water. Eastsound Water will credit your account. The maximum financial aid is $125 per account. This program will apply to quarterly residential bills from April – June, so all residential customers will have an opportunity to apply.
Applications may be submitted between the 10th through the 24th of the month. Applicants will be notified of their credit after the 24th of the month so they can pay their bills prior to the end of the month’s due date. Commercial applicants should not contact the Resource Center.

The Farmer’s Market Returns!
The farmers market is a commitment to the community; a commitment to both vendors and patrons. We want to slowly, safely open the market, and ensure that the market remains a reliable avenue for local business sales and local food access. With the infrastructure of the market in place we are also dedicating a space for community to safely engage and interact.
Doing this safely includes proper social distancing, sanitation, packaging/planning ahead, and customer flow. The market will function in compliance with the most current public health directives in order to protect the safety of the community and to provide a platform for local access to local food, goods, and services.
From May 16th – May 30th (Three Saturdays) the market will feature local farmers, produce/grocery type fresh goods only.
Hopefully by the end of May, we will have more definition around how much we can expand the market based on guidelines from the state. Currently, the market must operate under the guidelines of what is deemed essential. We anticipate that the market will expand step by step, and that retail may open gradually.
Come stock up on fresh local produce, meat, and plant starts!

The New Leaf Re-Opens for Take-Out!
We are so happy to be serving our island again! Orders should be made in advance and can be picked up at the New Leaf patio at 171 Main Street in Eastsound village. Orders can be placed at any time by clicking on the ORDER buttons, but our only Pick-Up time slots are 5:30pm-8pm, Friday-Sun. Advance orders are now available for dinners as of Friday, May 22nd.

Help Secure Funds for Orcas Island
Did you know what many forms of funding for our most important island programs come about because of the Census?  Without being represented, we could lose federal monies for critical programs like Medicare, the school lunch program, transportation funding programs, and much more. Many of the nonprofits in our community rely on census data to apply for critical funding grants.  Please take a few minutes to fill out your census.

There are three easy ways to participate:

  • Answer online at www.2020census.gov
  • Call toll-free to 844.330.2020 (English) or 844.468.2020 (Spanish). Call centers are open from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Return a paper form via the mail (this option is only available if you received a paper form in the mail)

It is important to know that this information if kept private for 72 years and no one in the Census Bureau can release your personal information. Watch the video below for more information:

A Message from Orcas Island Fire and Rescue:

Essential Goods Home Deliveries
During this COVID-19 emergency: vulnerable persons of any age that need home delivery of essential household goods such as food or medicine can call the resource center or senior services to ask for help. If you need this assistance, please call Jana Webb at the Orcas Community Resource Center, 360-376-3184, or Heidi Bruce with Senior Services, 360-370-0591.

OCRC also has a resource guide of programs/services that might help you during this time. The guide can be found at:  https://orcascrc.org/covid-19-resources

The Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce is regularly putting out excellent information for our community. We highly recommend you join their newsletter or visit their site frequently to stay up-to-date with information on how COVID-19 is effecting our community on Orcas Island.

Use Orcas.Recovers.org to volunteer, donate, or post a need. This site was started by the Orcas Island Community Foundation but it is managed by local organizations in the community. Residents can request help or sign up to donate and volunteer. Your information and offerings will be shown only to vetted organizations helping in the community. If you request help or sign up to donate or volunteer, you will be contacted by a local organization that can help you or that needs help.  Organizations can post their services, request resources, and access the databases of needs, donations, and volunteers by clicking on “I Represent a Local Organization”.

Rent or Mortgage Payment Assistance
Thanks to donors to the Community Foundation’s Community Emergency Response Fund, OPAL Community Land Trust is helping islanders who may not be able to pay their housing costs because of the COVID-19 virus. If you want help with your rent or mortgage, please fill out the form at this link, and we’ll contact you to take next steps. Donations to the Orcas Recovery Fund to help people impacted financially by loss of wages or other COVID-19 related impacts can be made through the Community Foundation...

Project PAL: OPALCO energy assistance is available for new and current clients who have been impacted by COVID-19. Prior applicants may apply one more time for COVID-related relief, with a maximum award of $100. Access the COVID Relief Form here: www.opalco.com/bill-payment-plan

OPAL Construction at April’s Grove is Authorized to Continue
Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order identified certain essential activities that are allowed to continue while most of us stay home. The construction of affordable housing is one of those essential activities.  Therefore, construction of April’s Grove will continue as long as suppliers continue to deliver. The crews working on site have adopted new protocols to keep workers safe and healthy in accordance with L&I guidelines on COVID-19.

Orcas Community Resource Center (OCRC)
COATES’ Cabinet (new hours and procedures: https://orcascrc.org/coates-cabinet) The Coates’ Cabinet is now open on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the months at the Resource Center from 3:30 to 5:30pm. If you are a current Resource Center or Food Bank client, you are eligible for a free monthly allocation of household and personal items such as laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo, toothpaste, diapers and many other items.

NOTE: New clients must complete both a New Client Intake Form as well as a COATES’ Cabinet Household Essentials Registration Form, available in the “Download” Section below. Requested items must be phoned in (376-3184) or emailed (holly@orcascrc.org) in advance prior to your supply pick-up.
The Resource Center is located at 374 North Beach Road. Your order will be placed outside the front door, accessible via the courtyard. For the safety of our staff and clients, no last-minute or personal hand-offs will be allowed at this time. For more information, call 360-376-3184 or email: info@orcascrc.org

The Shelter Task Force Seeks Items
The Community Shelter Task Force is working hard to ensure that all on Orcas have both a place and a shelter to Shelter in place. They are seeking donations of folding tables, hoses, extension cords, and market tents. In addition, we would be deeply grateful for trailers or fifth wheels. With the return of the rain, our tents are not providing adequate shelter. shelter@oicf.us

Also, sleeping bags (10), bedding, pillows, and towels. Cookware and propane cook stoves (need 4). Picnic tables (need 4), and several hoses and extension cords (the orange kind for outdoor use). If you have any of these to offer, please post what you have to give on orcas.recovers.org #sheltersupport, and we will be in touch. Thank YOU!

Support Local Businesses by Buying Gift Certificates!

The Chamber of Commerce has launched www.OrcasStrong.com, a one-stop shop to find gift certificates for local businesses. By purchasing gift certificates, you help island entrepreneurs make ends meet through COVID-19 closures.

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For Family and Professional Caregivers

From the Orcas Island Caregiver Preparedness Team
Orcas Island Caregiver Preparedness was established with the support of Orcas Island Community Foundation and the Lahari Foundation to provide information, resources and supplies to paid and family caregivers on Orcas Island. It was MOST important that safety supplies be available for all paid and family caregivers in our community. We are fully stocked with supplies needed for best safety practices in the home to include cloth, surgical and N-95 masks (dispensed with exposure risk according to CDC guidelines), goggles/face shields, gloves, gowns, hazmat bags, bleach spray for disinfection for each caregiver.

Best practices (WHO, CDC, WA DOH) for this equipment can be found on our Facebook page, Orcas Island Caregiver Preparedness and a mini web page with a manual at: https://sites.google.com/view/orcas-caregivers.
These supplies can be accessed with social distancing practices. The supplies are centrally located and can be picked up by caregivers, friends or can be delivered directly to the home by our Odd Fellows delivery team.
Additionally, there is an active caregiver list to support anyone on the island who feels they may need additional help. Please feel free to reach out and let this group support you during this challenging time.
Personal Protective Equipment – 206-276-5805 by phone or text
Caregivers – 360-376-6333

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For Seniors

1) Home delivered meals are provided to seniors on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for those in need. Please contact Heidi Bruce with Senior Services at 360-370-0591 or heidib@sanjuanco.com.

2) Delivery of essential household goods such as food or medicine is available for those in need. Please contact Heidi Bruce with Senior Services at 360-370-0591 or heidib@sanjuanco.com, or call the resource center at 360-376-3184.

3) Orcas Senior Center Hearts and Hands program is extending its reach to address the needs of seniors during this period of prolonged self-isolation. If you would like to volunteer to provide friendly regular check-ins by phone or if you are a senior and would welcome phone check-ins from a concerned and caring volunteer, go to orcas.recovers.org or call John Slater at 360-919-9318.

New Program for Seniors
Are you a senior? Would you appreciate a regular phone check-in by an Orcas Senior Center volunteer during your self-isolation? We have contacted a number of you already, but we are missing many phone numbers. If you want to participate in the Orcas Senior Center Buddies Check-In Program, email Buddies@orcasseniors.org or call John Slater at (360) 919-9318.

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For Parents and Children

Did you miss graduation?
Or do you just want to relive the awesomeness of our local graduates?
We have the full program on our Vimeo page:

2020 OISD Virtual Graduation from Orcas Center on Vimeo.

Meals – Grab and Go
The Orcas Island School District recognizes that many students and families rely on school to meet their nutritional needs. We also recognize that the Covid-19 outbreak may impact the economic reality for many families who may need assistance. During the state mandated school closure from March 17th to June 19th we will be able to provide lunch and breakfast, free of charge to ALL CHILDREN (of any age, whether that child is in the public school or not), regardless of family income.  CLICK HERE for more information.
Meals will be provided to all children regardless of whether
the pre-order form has been filled out or not.
If your family is not able to pick-up meals at school but need nutritional support please contact your school administrator so that we can plan for remote delivery. For questions or inquiries please contact Madden Surbaugh, OISD Food Services Director at msurbaugh@orcas.k12.wa.us. Donations to support this meal program can be made through the Orcas Island Education Foundation (OIEF) at OIEF School Food Fund.

Free Art-Kits for Kids
All OISD kids (5-18 years old) are eligible for a free age appropriate art activity packet designed by AOK teaching artist Ms. Brook Meinhardt. ORDER yours by emailing your child’s name, age, and grade to: AOKartfororcaskids@gmail.com. Follow everyone’s at-home art making on Instagram: @AOKartfororcaskids

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Supporting Artists

The Actors Fund has complied a fairly comprehensive list of grants and funding available to artists, performers, musicians, dancers, bartenders, and others who have had their income effected by the COVID-19 closure. Pursue the list, and please share widely!

ArtsWA is pleased to provide rapid-response funding to non-profit and fiscally sponsored arts groups and organizations that are facing financial hardship due to economic impacts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding, in the form of grants, is provided by the CARES Act via the National Endowment for the Arts. The deadline is May 31 and grant award amounts are up to $5,000.

Americans for the Arts and the Arts Action Fund are standing up for the arts in America during COVID-19! Join us in calling on Congress TODAY to designate a minimum of $4 billion—to be distributed through the National Endowment for the Arts—to help offset losses in the nonprofit cultural industry and expand eligibility through additional federal programs to ensure artists, cultural workers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in the creative economy can utilize business interruption relief.

The COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund provides rapid response grants supporting critical needs of artists whose livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19.
These unrestricted cash grants ($500-$5000) are intended to support working artists with:
  • Lost wages and earnings;
  • Loss from event, performance, and conference cancellations and school / community-based education closures;
  • Reimbursement for travel loss;
  • Medical expenses;
  • Rent and mortgage payments, food, utilities, and other living expenses.

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Exploring the Arts Online

Orcas Center is releasing previous shows and concerts from their recorded archives. You can now view This is Me, Sea Stars, Sorne, ROTR – An Evening at the Moulin Rouge, Enchanted Forest – Fly Me to the Moon (2012), Enchanted Forest -A Cabaret of Nonsense and Magic (2011), A Midsummer’s Night Abduction (2015), The Tempest (2017), Enchanted Forest – The Naughty Pirates of Neverland (2017), Enchanted Forest – Transyvania Express’O! (2016), Enchanted Forest – Inflatable Cloud 7 (2013), and The 39 Steps. A hilarious production directed by Deborah Sparks and starring Robert Hall, Grace McCune, Christopher Evans, and Cali Bagby. CLICK HERE for the full archives.
More to come during our COVID-19 closure!
All That Jazz – At Home!
Back in March, just five days from opening, the cast and crew of Chicago were putting the finishing touches on this classic musical when it was decided that Orcas Center would need to close down and the run of the show be postponed. And here we are, two months later, still closed, and the Chicago set is still on the stage, still awaiting dancing feet.
So in the meantime, to keep those dance moves well-oiled, we’ve put together our own “Stay at Home” edition of the opening overture and musical number, the timeless classic All That Jazz sung by island treasure Grace McCune and many of the rest of the ensemble. Each video was recorded at home by the cast member with some specific lighting and location requirements to keep the look as similar as possible.
CLICK HERE to read more and see the final collaborative result!

The Washington State Virtual Wind Ensemble
With schools closed for the rest of the 2019-20 school year, 32 music educators from across the state organized to form the Washington State Virtual Wind Ensemble. Our first performance is of the third movement of the Gustav Holst British band classic, First Suite in E flat – including Darren Dix, Orcas Middle and High School’s Band Director!

You can be Part of an Island-Wide Art Project!
Orcas Island is responding to the virus and the change in how we interact in dramatic ways. We encourage you to share photos of how you and those around you are adjusting. We would like to document the community response. Perhaps this is a meeting that you are participating in where people are practicing social distancing. Perhaps it is photos of you working to help with the Food Bank, the Blood Drive, the sewing of masks, making or delivering meals, or even the empty business or church. Please send photos to 2020.orcas@gmail.com and note how you would like to be credited for the photo. All photos will be shared publicly and are for documentary purposes. Steve Smith / OrcasArt.com

The Orcas Library offers a variety of resources such as ebooks, e-audiobooks, a wide variety of databases, language learning, streaming movies and other alternatives, all available with your library card number and PIN. County and State community health directives do not yet permit us to implement any restored services, such as curbside pickup. As they work through future options for reopening please continue to contact them at 360-376-4985 and leave a voicemail, or email Library Director Phil Heikkinen at pheikkinen@orcaslibrary.org.

Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival: Each Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 pm (PDT), OICMF will be sending out “Tuesdays at Two,” with links to videos of Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival musicians in performance (you can watch at any time – these are not going away!). Because whatever else is happening around us all, we do still believe music is essential. Sign up for their newsletter at www.OICMF.org to receive these mailings.

Orcas Choral Society Shares Musical Treats! During social distancing, Orcas Choral Society is sharing musical favorites weekly with its members, and now, with you, too! This week, it’s a timely rendition of Billy Joel’s, ‘The Longest Time’.

The Orcas Island Film Festival is continuing with their Virtual Cinema offerings online. Check their website for current titles. All are available online for approximately a week.

Explore the work of the following artists:
  • DOMESTIC BLISS – Holly Ballard Martz
  • THE PULSE OF WATER – June Sekiguchi

The Shows Must Go On! Brings you show tunes, backstage access and full performances from some of the best loved musicals in history! Full length performances posted on Fridays, and available for 48-hour access.

Musical America: Whether you’re looking for classical, jazz, Opera, or anything in-between, Musical America has the comprehensive list of all things streaming music on their website.

The Met Opera: Every day for the duration of the Met’s closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series will be made available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 20 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 3:30 p.m. the following day.

National Theatre Live! is streaming archived performances on their YouTube Channel each week. Check their website for current offerings.

KNKX public radio (Tacoma) has launched its community page, which lists concerts, online public talks and informational meetings, virtual museum tours, online crafts and more! Visit https://www.knkx.org/knkx-community to see a comprehensive list.

In an effort to help kids (and adults) pass a little time happily while we are isolated/ quarantined, local author, Fisher Dickens, created videos of all 16 of her books and posted them on YouTube.

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Supporting Washington Businesses

San Juan Islands Community Forum
The EDC invites interested residents of San Juan County to join in a weekly San Juan Islands Community Forum. This Zoom meeting will cover different topics of interest to residents of the islands, and allow for conversation with elected officials, local health and social experts and community leaders.
On Wednesday, May 27th, (6-7pm on Zoom) the Forum will cover the topic of Business, Jobs, and the Economy. We’ll start the conversation with a quick dive into data, move into what we’re hearing about from our businesses, and start a conversation on how we can start to strengthen and diversify our economy to reduce future catastrophic downturns. CLICK HERE for more information and the Zoom link.

Orcas Small Business Help
Are you lost in the maze? Help to navigate is here!  A group of island experts has teamed up with Orcas Island Library to help you with the various business financial assistance programs.  For small business owners, independent contractors and sole proprietorships facing a web of confusing information and paperwork while seeking to apply for federal and state financial assistance programs, the team can is here for you.

  • Go here to get started: www.orcaslibrary.org link to Orcas Small Business Help
  • Fill out and submit the request for assistance
  • A Library navigator will contact you to help guide you through the process

Many areas can be addressed like identifying the most appropriate programs, coping with current bottlenecks and constraints, submitting your application, and how to follow through to ensure your application is considered. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions listed on the site. Developed in conjunction with the Orcas Island Community Foundation (OICF), the Small Business Coronavirus Support Network is free and ready to help you today.

OPALCO Support for Businesses 
Commercial members (requires commercial meter and tariff) in need can benefit from the following COVID-19 relief measures through June 30 on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funding lasts:
  • Fee and disconnect waivers
  • Temporarily disconnect meter (no bill during disruption)
  • Waive service access charge (base fee) with EAP-C assistance
  • $25 bill credit with Rock Island (if on EAP-C)
  • Switch it Up! payment deferral
Please see chart online full details or contact OPALCO at (360)376-3500.

The Washington Tourism Alliance and Experience Washington have created a new website: showWAlove.com where people can find a way to support their favorite Washington businesses by purchasing gift cards for future use.
A user will be able to search for businesses by region (The Islands) and/or category and then connect with that business to buy a gift card. Hopefully, this will be a way for Washingtonians and others, to help our hard-working business owners, non-profits and employees though this tough time. If you’re a small business, you can create your own profile to be listed!
Don’t forget – our own island businesses need support!
Gift certificates are a great way to help them pay bills
during times of closure.

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