Community is everything, especially on our rugged 57-square mile island with its 5,500 citizens. We are all here by choice in this microcosm, where we ideally elevate each other to be better human beings in our participation. But along with engagement comes responsibility. Our collective roles are to make sure that each and every one of us is treated with dignity and fairness, and to strongly condemn and remove all barriers to personal opportunity and racial justice.

During Orcas Center’s closure, we have the opportunity to pause and reflect on how we as an organization, as a community, and as individuals can take responsibility as the cultural hub on the island. Systemic racism and its associated brutality must be stamped out. Massive sea changes are in motion where not being a racist is not enough. Today, we must collectively and adamantly be anti-racist.

We are re-tooling how we select shows, performers, and events, while creating standards of conduct that will be required of all who choose to participate: staff, board members, committee members, instructors, students, audience members, and volunteers alike.

We invite you to be part of the conversation as we are crafting these policies, and encourage you to reach out to Dimitri, Bethany, Jake, Nicole, or any Board member to learn how you can get involved – Orcas Center can only be a reflection of those who step up and participate and, with convictions, actions, and justice, we can all make Black Lives Matter.

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 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 (Last update: 15 Aug)

There was one new COVID case reported on Orcas Island, bringing the total to 12 on Orcas Island and 31 in San Juan County. Keep in mind that these are the total number of reported cases, not active cases. Some people who contracted COVID earlier in the year have since recovered.
You can see the complete case count for San Juan County HERE.
Read the San Juan County statement in the Sounder HERE.


It has been four months since the governor announced the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Since then, cases in Washington have risen from 2,000 to almost 50,000, and deaths have increased from 110 to nearly 1,500. To combat the rising numbers, the governor and secretary are changing guidance and regulations around restaurants, bars, and fitness centers, as well as weddings and funerals. The changes will also affect family entertainment centers, movie theaters and card rooms. Read the full story in the Island’s Sounder.

As of July 25, the secretary of health’s statewide face-covering order is expanded to require face coverings in any indoor setting outside of your home (not just public buildings) and expands the outdoor requirement to non-public settings when you can’t maintain 6 feet of distance from non-household members. This includes common spaces in congregate living settings, such as common areas in apartment buildings condos, assisted living facilities, fraternity/sorority houses, and other similar places. Read more in the Islands Sounder.
Don’t forget – Stay at home when you can, wear a mask when you can’t, and wash your hands like your life depends on it…in some cases, it just might!

*sigh* That’s where we’re at, folks.
The County States: “While investigation of recent cases is ongoing, nearly all of the positive cases to date have resulted from those living in the islands traveling to the mainland and returning to San Juan County, or friends or family of islanders coming to San Juan County.”
Don’t forget – Stay at home when you can, wear a mask when you can’t, and wash your hands like your life depends on it…in some cases, it just might!


“In these trends, we are seeing the impact of our collective decisions. We are jeopardizing the gains we made as a state with the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order and the actions each one of us takes now will determine what happens next,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “If we want to send our kids to school in the fall and avoid new restrictions, we must all make a conscious shift in the way we live our lives. That means staying at home as much as possible, reducing how many people we see in person and continuing to wear face coverings and keep physical distance in public.” Read more in Orcas Issues.

“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 (Current phase – since 19 July)
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? (Last update: 19 July)

We would love some volunteers to help in maintaining the grounds around Orcas Center throughout the summer. Contact Pierrette at or (360) 472-1810 to help with the grounds and gardens and Jean Dickerson at 360-376-4433 to help with the Memorial Garden.
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
People interested in volunteering should continue to be directed to the website: 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.
If you have any items to offer, please post what you have to give on #sheltersupport, and we will be in touch. Thank YOU!

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Mask Resources (Last update: 15 Aug)

All people in Washington State must wear a face covering in any indoor or outdoor public area. Children under two should not wear a face covering. People unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons are not required to. The mask may be removed to eat, drink, or communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing. Disregard of the order may result in a misdemeanor charge, punishable by a fine of up to $100 and/or up to 90 days in county jail. Read more.

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
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 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 to sew, donate fabrics, supplies.
If you need to borrow a sewing machine to help make masks: contact

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 (Last update: 29 Aug)

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
  • 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

A New Mental Health Directory for San Juan County
The outbreak of COVID-19 has led many people to feel anxiety, grief and stress. 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 or to learn how to help the volunteer team.

Crisis Therapy Project 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 Licensed therapists can learn how to offer free therapy at

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 There is a local phone number for info/requests: 360-376-4522.

Recovery in Community (RIC) is available to help Orcas Islanders with mental health and substance abuse problems who do not currently have access to the kinds of supports and resources they need. Trained RIC volunteer advocates can help these islanders to access treatment, transportation, therapy, housing, food, legal services and social supports. Where an islander cannot do it on their own, Recovery in Community may be able to help. If you or someone you know needs assistance, call 360-317-3119 and find out more about us at

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,, or contact Jean Henigson (360-376-6549)

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Food Resources (Last update: 15 Aug)

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

Island Market
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:
– If 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

While we have re-opened for in-store shopping, we will continue to offer safe and convenient shopping from home through our online ordering system for Curbside Pick-up and Home Delivery. Same Day Curbside Pick-up is now available for everyone! Home Delivery is also available for everyone on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Place an order online at:

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Local Information (Last update: 15 Aug)

The Orcas Center Newsletter scales back
Just a friendly heads-up that the Orcas Center newsletter will be scaling back to every-other week until further notice. Our next edition will go out on August 2nd. Thank you all for your support during our closure – stay safe out there!

The American Legion Voyle B. Martin Post #93 is dedicated to veterans, active and retired, and their families, as well as to our Orcas Island community. If there is a veteran or family of a veteran who is in need of assistance, please reach out to us. While our physical doors are not currently open to our members and guests, we are all working behind the scenes to stay involved within our community. You can email us at, or call 360.376.4987.
Another way that San Juan County is assisting our veteran community is through the Veterans Advisory Board (VAB). The VAB is a board consisting of veterans represented from Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan Islands who were approved by County Council members. The Veterans Advisory Fund, through the VAB provides timely services to eligible veterans and/or their immediate families who are in urgent financial need. For more information on the VAB, visit our website

A San Juan County-Wide Call to Action
After many months of work, research, and collaboration with the County Council and other community leaders, Kevin Carter of Inclusion Innovates, (based on Orcas) is releasing a call to sign the San Juan County Safe and Inclusive Organization petition.
This petition is calling for the adoption of a resolution that would create important and measured steps to ensure our county is safe and inclusive for Black, Indigenous and other People of Color, as well as the LGBTQIA+ community. Click here to read the resolution.
Through community organizing, mobilizing and education, Orcas SURJ (Stand up for Racial Justice) moves community members to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion & accountability. To learn more about various ways you can help, (even from the comfort of your own home!) or attend their ongoing community meetings on the green, visit their Facebook page, or contact

San Juan County Virtual Fair – Call for Entries through August 8th
Just a few more days are left to submit your entry for the “2020: A Fair Odyssey” Virtual Fair! You can submit photos or videos of your entries through August 8th. If you have questions, please contact the office at: 360.378.4310 or You can learn more at

OPALCO COVID-19 relief measures extended through August for Residential and Commercial Members in Need
OPALCO is extending its COVID-19 assistance programs through August 2020 and will continue to monitor and assess the need and funding availability for the fall. OPALCO is digging deep to put any and all available resources into the hands of members in need while keep the cooperative business viable. Apply online.

Rock Island Update
Rock Island offers a $25/month bill credit for customers on OPALCO’s Energy Assist Program. Show them your power bill to get the credit. Rock Island applied for a USDA distance learning grant to install remote learning facilities to support teachers and share teaching resources in every middle- and high-school classroom in SJC. Grant awards will be announced at year end. Currently, more than 100 students county-wide are connected to FREE internet service for online schooling through Rock Island’s “Access Education” program. Contact your school if your student is in need.

Orcas Island Library Update
The Orcas Island Library continues offering curbside pickup for reserved materials.
Also, it’s not too late to take part in our Summer Reading Program–just come to the front door
during our curbside hours: 12-3pm M,W,F, Sat. Visit to learn about online activities for all ages, including author talks and interactive workshops. Our book returns are all open, so please continue returning items as usual, whether checked out during our closed period or more recently.

EPRC addresses Prune Alley FAQ from public input
Do you have questions regarding the recent upgrades on Prune Alley? The Eastsound Planning Review Committee (EPRC) has more information regarding the project, funding, parking, trees, and community involvement. You can read more on Orcas Issues

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.

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:

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 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:

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: 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 ( 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:

Support Local Businesses by Buying Gift Certificates!

The Chamber of Commerce has launched, 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 (Last update: 15 Aug)

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:
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 (Last update: 15 Aug)

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

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, 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 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 or call John Slater at (360) 919-9318.

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For Parents and Children (Last update: 15 Aug)

Orcas Island School District Town Hall
Please join a virtual town hall to discuss “How Will ‘Back to School’ Happen this Fall” on Wednesday, August 5 from 6-8pm. The moderator will be Lisa Byers. You can join via ZOOM: more information about how to join a ZOOM meeting go to: If you have a question you’d like to submit about the opening of schools – please send it to: Cathy Ferran at

From Orcas Community Resource Center (OCRC)
Is your child entering kindergarten this fall? The Orcas Community Resource Center has goodie bags filled with educational supplies and fun activities to prep your pre-school graduates for their Kindergarten Transition. For more information, call 376-3184 or email

FunHouse Remote Summer Day Camp
The Funhouse Commons is bringing Day Camp to you! Our staff have been working hard on creating fun, themed activities that you can do at home throughout the week for our Remote Summer Day Camps. We have a private Facebook group available for sharing materials and interacting with other campers and staff, as well as physical materials for you to use that you can pick up at the beginning of each themed week. These remote camps will run every week of the summer!
Did we mention Remote Summer Day Camp is FREE? We just need you to register! Please visit our website for more information and registration!

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 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: Follow everyone’s at-home art making on Instagram: @AOKartfororcaskids

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Supporting Artists (Last update: 15 Aug)

The Orcas Artist Studio Tour – Social Distancing Version!
Because of COVID-19 the 2020 Orcas Artists Studio Tour has changed. There is no charge to be a participating artist. There will be no brochure or promotional material printed. Each studio is on its own. If you are interested in showing your work in your studio on August 14, 15th, or 16th use your yellow directional signs to bring people in from the main road. We will be telling visitors by website, emails, and Facebook about the changes for this year. Use your own social media to get the word out! Bruce Wilson has a few signs at his house if anyone needs a few. Contact Bruce at with any ideas and questions. Visit The Orcas Artist Studio Tour for more information.

FREE online consultations for Washington State artists affected by COVID-19
FREE ONLINE CONSULTATIONS are now available in response to COVID-19 related setbacks for the creative sector. Receive no-cost professional online advice on finance/accounting, unemployment, law, healthcare/insurance, housing/space, grant-writing, basic needs, and topics under these categories. Registration, scheduling, and consulting sessions are online. Learn more at

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!

Learn how American for the Arts Action Fund is 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.

Learn how Artist Trust is supporting and funding artists who have been affected by COVID-19. CLICK HERE for more information.

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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 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 /

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

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 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 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 (Last updated 15 Aug)

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: 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: 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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