MUSKEGON — Leaders of the Frauenthal Center have announced the downtown Muskegon event venue will stay closed for public and private events through 2020 because of COVID-19 concerns.
The Frauenthal has been closed to the public since mid-March, and staff have been canceling or rescheduling all performances for the foreseeable future. Current state orders limit capacity for indoor public gatherings to a maximum of 10 people, making fall events difficult to plan for, said Frauenthal Executive Director Eric Messing.
“This is a challenging time for all performing arts venues across the nation, and we are no exception,” Messing said in a statement. “Our utmost concern is the safety and well-being of our patrons, volunteers, staff and entertainers.”
The months-long closure is occurring during the theater’s 90th anniversary, making an in-person celebration impossible, but the team is working on other ways to honor the occasion.
“We are focusing on 2021 and beyond, while creatively planning on how to recognize the Frauenthal’s 90th anniversary this fall,” Messing said. “We are very much looking forward to when we are able to gather in person again and celebrate arts and culture with our West Michigan community.”
The Frauenthal operates as part of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. The multi-theater venue is home to the West Michigan Symphony, Muskegon Civic Theatre, Muskegon Community College’s Downtown Live Concert Series and the Miss Michigan Scholarship Program.
The venue also hosts events and weddings throughout the year, and is fundraising on its website to help offset the cost of being closed since March.
“This decision makes the most sense for us given our current state in this pandemic,” said Todd Jacobs, president/CEO of the Community Foundation.