MVICW COVID-19 COMMUNITY UPDATE
Dear MVICW Community Members,
As we come together as a global community to understand and work through the growing challenges presented by the current health crisis, we at MVICW wanted to give you an update about our organization’s response to Covid-19 and our plans for the 2020 MVICW Summer Writers’ Conference. We are closely monitoring news regarding the coronavirus on a daily basis, as our top priority is the health and well-being of all MVICW community members, including attendees, staff, visiting writers, fellowship/contest applicants, and the Vineyard island community. This priority is the driving factor in all our organizational decisions as we continue to develop plans for this summer.
With the MVICW Summer Writers’ Conference currently set for June 7-20th, we are still planning to hold the conference as scheduled. We are hoping to see a beneficial change of the situation in the coming months, but we will continue to monitor the situation very closely, and will assess any potential change to our event based on the advice and official guidance of state and federal government agencies, local health authorities, and the CDC. We will, of course, keep the MVICW community updated with any changes. We plan to reassess any need for delay or cancellation of the conference at the end of April and will make an official announcement of that assessment by May 1st.
We are currently taking the following steps to help support and safeguard our community members, and to provide more options for our conference attendees in the coming weeks.
STEPS WE ARE TAKING:
We are closely monitoring official guidance from local government, health authorities, and the CDC in order to support the health and wellbeing of all community members. We have provided links below so you can be informed and we can all responsibly act to help the situation.
We are providing links to helpful resources below, so that you can be informed and well-prepared as the situation evolves.
We are following international recommendations for social distancing and online meetings, and have moved all of our current operations online for the months of March/April.
Moving forward with operations and conference activities in June, we will be hiring cleaners specializing in deep cleaning of all buildings and attendee lodgings; staff and volunteers will be regularly wiping down all lobby and public spaces; all seminar studios and attendee lodging spaces will be supplied with antibacterial sanitizer bottles and disinfectant wipes to allow for the wipe down of all work surfaces before and after use.
For all of our pending fellowship/contest opportunities, we are continuing to process awards with the intent of welcoming winners and fellowship recipients to our conference this summer. In the case of a delay or cancellation of our event, we will extend all awards/fellowships toward the rescheduled conference dates.
We are extending our cancellation policy until May 1st in order to allow the greatest flexibility and time to assess the situation fully. In the case that we must delay or postpone our Summer Writers’ Conference at that time, we will be offering refunds for payments made toward conference registration/lodging. You can find our amended policy here:
REVISED CANCELLATION POLICY
As we continue to monitor the news regarding Covid-19 related travel and event delays or cancellations, we have temporarily extended our cancellation policy deadline to May 1st to allow for the greatest flexibility and time to assess the situation. If Cancelled on or before May 1st: Full refund of tuition and lodging.
STEPS WE RECOMMEND FOR MVICW COMMUNITY MEMBERS:
Be informed by following CDC, reliable news outlets, and local government recommendations.
Whenever possible, practice social distancing by staying home, opting for online meetings/events in the coming weeks, and making sure to seek medical help if you present symptoms.
For conference travel plans, we recommend waiting to book your flights to allow for better flexibility of plans in the coming months. For those wishing to book plane tickets sooner, the following airlines have extended or dropped any change fees for airline tickets purchases in March/April for summer travel
HELPFUL INFORMATIONAL LINKS:
We care deeply about the health and wellbeing of all who call the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing home. We are hopeful for positive changes worldwide in the coming months and continue to look forward to welcoming you to the island this summer.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to us.
13 March 2020