We are reopening

Sweetwater Center for the Arts will be open for our Fall session starting September 14th. Start registering for classes & workshops today! We will be open Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Our facility hours vary at this time - please contact us by email: info@sweetwaterartcenter.org or phone: 412-741-4405.

Dear Sweetwater Friends & Families,

We have some exciting news to share with you! Sweetwater Center for the Arts will officially re-open, for a modified fall schedule, on Monday, September 14, 2020!

Since Allegheny County moved into the Green Phase, we began working through the recommendations from the CDC and PA Dept. of Health to create a plan to re-open and commence in-person opportunities at Sweetwater. Our leadership was part of a group of 50 other arts and culture organizations across the region to develop policies and best practices. We’ve been in touch with our neighbors and friends on what they’re doing to ensure a safe and healthy return.

Sweetwater has instituted the following Health & Safety Practices as recommended from the CDC and in collaboration with local arts and culture organizations:

  • Promoting healthy hygiene practices such as hand washing and employees wearing a cloth face covering
  • Encourage social distancing through increased spacing, small groups, and limited mixing between groups, and staggered scheduling, arrival, and drop off
  • Where feasible, adjust activities and procedures to limit the sharing of items such as toys, belongings, supplies, and equipment
  • Trained all employees on health and safety protocols
  • We have posted signage in our classrooms, restrooms, and throughout the building to inform staff, instructors, students, parents/guardians about the SIGNS & SYMPTOMS of COVID-19.

Important policies to remember when coming to Sweetwater:

  1. WEAR A MASK. Staff, Teaching Artists, Students, and Visitors are required to wear face-covering in the building.
  2. SICK = STAY HOME. We will be screening students and instructors as they enter the building (no-touch temperature reading, signs & symptoms, etc.)
  3. WASH/ SANITIZE HANDS. We will be providing hand sanitizing stations at convenient locations and encouraging everyone to wash hands frequently.

We have updated our website to include more detailed information on what WE’RE DOING to re-open safely, and what WE’RE ASKING our students and visitors to do when returning to Sweetwater.

Registration is now open for Fall Session!

What's new?

Sweetwater is back! We are excited to begin the process of reopening our Center and have been working quickly and thoughtfully to create a safe environment for our staff, instructors, artists, students, and guests to our building and events.


Fall Session

Registration is now open for Fall Session! Please check the schedule on the website to sign-up or feel free to call the office for assistance in registration.

We have multi-week and one-day workshop options, small class sizes, and more extra precautions in place to keep everyone safe & healthy!

Youth: Painting, Drawing, Ceramics and Mixed Media (in-person & online options)
Teen: Painting, Drawing, Ceramics and Mixed Media (in-person & online options)
Adult: Watercolor, Acrylics, Ceramics, Mixed Media, Screen-printing and Collage
(in-person & online options)

Classes start September 14 - register now to save your spot!


MAVUNO Festival of African American Arts & Culture

October 10 - November 7

24 years ago, Black artists and educators from our community approached Sweetwater with the idea to host the MAVUNO Festival of African American Art & Culture. It was a great success and we have been celebrating together every year since! Each fall, MAVUNO offers a variety of events, exhibitions, classes, and workshops that focus on visual art, music, poetry, and dance.

For 2020, we are moving MAVUNO outside and online. This year’s MAVUNO will reveal the story of African Americans in the Sewickley Valley with the Sewickley Black History Tour and Art Walk. This self-guided tour will offer a view into the past, highlighting the accomplishments and adversities of the Sewickley African American community, intertwined with new artworks from regional Black artists.

We will also look back at the history of MAVUNO with the virtual exhibition, Black Art Matters: Revisiting 10 years of MAVUNO exhibitions. Artworks will be on view at SweetwaterArtCenter.org. This gathering of exceptional and poignant artworks will give you the chance to revisit, or see for the first time, the amazing talent of Black artists in our community.


Image above from jazz section of large mural created
by students during MAVUNO 2014 Montessori Mural Project.

Holiday Mart

November 28 - December 19

Sweetwater’s annual Holiday Mart is a tradition in our community that we just can’t skip this year! After much consideration, we are planning to present Holiday Mart online in 2020. Log on and shop for unique, handcrafted gifts made by local artists! Holiday Mart has something for everyone on your list, in every price range. You’ll find artisan-made jewelry, knitwear, hats and scarfs, unique accessories, hand-thrown mugs and bowls, wall art, candles, cute aprons, great hostess gifts, teachers gifts, ornaments, cards, decorations and so much more!!

Holiday Mart is Sweetwater’s largest fundraiser for the year. And this year we need you more than ever! Support your local artists and your favorite local art center with one click! www.SweetwaterArtSale.org

Check back soon for information on corresponding promotions and our Virtual Preview Party!

Shop


For more information, please contact us at info@sweetwaterartcenter.org or 412-741-4405


Policies and Procedures

As we re-open, Sweetwater follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the PA Department of Health to ensure the health and safety of students, parents/guardians, instructors, staff, and guests. You may find links below to resources utilized to formulate the below policies and procedures. We will continue to monitor Covid-19 and update policies and procedures as needed. 

Sweetwater is committed to the following to minimize the risk of COVID-19:

  • Limiting the number of visitors in the building and controlling traffic flow.
    • We scheduled a limited number of classes for our Fall session.
    • Limiting interaction among instructors and students of other classes in hallways and restrooms.
    • We are reconfiguring the Community Room and Ceramics Studios to encourage social distancing, with individual workstations for each student, spaced 6 feet apart. We also scheduled outdoor and online classes.
    • Limiting non-essential visitors to the building.
    • Limiting direct contact between parents and staff members and adhering to social distancing recommendations of six feet during drop-off and pick-up times.
    • Requesting the use 1 of 2 entrances, based on the location of your class. Students will receive the location of their class by email prior to the first day of class.
        • Classes in the Community Room will enter the Bank St. entrance and proceed upstairs.
        • Classes in the Ceramics Studio (Yellow Room) will enter the studio via the entrance in our parking lot accessible by Bank Street.
        • We strongly discourage the use of the Revolving Door on Broad Street however we will ensure all doors/entrances are disinfected after each camp begins.
  • Regularly disinfecting common touchpoints.
    • Staff will disinfect restrooms once per hour, and fully disinfect/clean each classroom between classes.
  • Providing hand sanitizing stations at convenient locations.
    • We are working with our cleaning company Environmental Control and Hearn Paper Company to ensure we have an adequate supply of cleaning and disinfecting supplies. There will be at least 14 foaming hand sanitizing dispensers placed throughout the building.
  • Providing masks to employees while on property.
    • Our staff and instructors will be wearing masks during the day at Sweetwater.
  • Providing gloves for employees to wear as needed – especially when working in common areas, cleaning/disinfecting, etc.
  • Screening employee health before each shift.
    • We will monitor staff health (no-touch temperature reading, signs & symptoms, etc.) each day as work begins and enforce strict prohibition of working in the building if any illness is suspected.
  • Screening students and instructors as they enter the building (no-touch temperature reading, signs & symptoms, etc.).
  • Ensuring a sufficient number of employees to perform all safety measures.
  • Ensuring a sufficient number of employees to control access and monitor social distancing.
  • Where feasible, supplies and materials will be provided in labeled bags/containers at the beginning of each camp; supplies will remain on-site in designated areas. Instructors will organize supplies and materials to minimize sharing between students and classes. When sharing may be necessary, supplies will be disinfected between use.
  • Posting signage in our classrooms, restrooms, and throughout the building to inform staff, instructors, students, parents/guardians about signs and symptoms of Covid-19.

 

We ask the visitors and students do their part to minimize the risk of COVID-19:

  • Each visitor must wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth.
    • Masks should not be placed on children under age 2.  Adults (staff, instructors, parents & guardians) and students are required to keep masks on throughout the day.
  • Please maintain at least six feet between your group members and others.
  • Please use hand sanitizer before and after class, and after using the restroom.
  • Please wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with hot water and soap after using the restroom.
  • Please avoid touching your face.
  • Please avoid touching other people.
  • Please register for classes and pay tuition online, in advance of your visit.
    • No one will be permitted in our Administrative Offices, except staff members.
    • If you need assistance with registration or have any questions, we encourage you to call in advance. If you must speak to someone, you may come to the office and a staff member will assist you with the glass window closed.
  • We encourage students to bring snacks and personal use beverage containers as we will not be selling food or drinks.

 

We are asking anyone to STAY AT HOME if you are feeling sick:

  • Staff, instructors, students, and parents/guardians who are sick or have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 are not permitted in the building.
  • Staff, instructors, students, and parents/guardians who have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms are not permitted in the building.

 

Resources:

CDC Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps

CDC Readiness and Planning Tool to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Among Campers

CDC: Symptoms of Coronavirus 

CDC: “What to Do If You Are Sick”

CDC: “Public Health Guidance for Community Related Exposure”

PA Department of Health, “Wolf Administration Releases Summer Camp and Recreation Guidance” – May 22, 2020 

PA Department of Health, Summer Recreation, Camps and Pools Frequently Asked Questions 

 

Ceramics Studio Policies

Sweetwater Ceramics Studio Policies

Kilns will be fired routinely throughout the session. Projects can be expected within two-three weeks.

  • We have upgraded our kiln vents and it is completely safe for all students to be in the ceramic studio and glaze/kiln room while kilns are firing.
  • DO NOT touch the kiln controls or vent controls.

Last day to work in wet clay will be two weeks prior to your last class in order to ensure that all pieces are fired in time.

The bottoms of your work must have: Your name AND your class code!

  • If you are enrolled in the Open Studio class, please use class code: OS
  • If you are a renter and are not enrolled in any class, do not include a code, only your name.
  • The bottoms of your work must NOT have glaze on them, or they will not be fired.

Please pick up your pieces within a month after your last class:

  • For children and teen classes: The Program Manager with notify parents by email when finished projects have been fired and are ready for pick up.

Please keep the studio clean:

  • Keeping the dust level down is important for everyone’s health who uses the studio.
  • DO NOT sweep or use fans in the ceramic studio.
  • Wipe down all surfaces with clean water and sponges, including wheels and splash pans. Do not use soap.
  • Pick up any chucks of clay that are on the floor by hand. Do not sweep.
  • Please mop up the area you used after you are finished.
  • These steps will ensure a clean, dust reduced environment for all.
  • Always use clay trap sink to rinse tools, buckets and splash pans.

Sweetwater will not fire any clay or glaze that is brought in by students/renters. Everyone must use the clay and glazes provided by the studio ONLY:

  • We are open to providing you with other options on colors and clay body. Any inquiries can be made to the studio technician: awatrous@sweetwaterartcenter.org

Sweetwater recycles clay on a minimal basis: COVID-19 UPDATE – SWEETWATER WILL NOT BE RECLAIMING CLAY

IF YOU DO NOT RECLAIM YOUR OWN CLAY, PLEASE THROW IT IN THE TRASH. DO NOT PUT IN BINS!

  • We encourage you to recycle your own clay, please use a small bucket to store your slop till it is ready to recycle. Recycling clay is part of the ceramic process. You may store your bucket on the reclaim shelf.
  • Please DO NOT throw clay, throwing slop, or clay water in the sink.

Purchasing clay from Sweetwater:

  • If you are enrolled in a class, 25 lbs. of clay can be purchased for $35 (includes glazing & firing fee).
  • If you are not enrolled in a class, 25 lbs. of clay can be purchased for $45 (includes glazing & firing fee).

Sweetwater tools and equipment: COVID-19 UPDATE – ALL RAGS SHOULD BE PUT INTO DIRTY RAG BIN AFTER USE.            

DO NOT RINSE AND HANG RAGS TO DRY. DO NOT USE WEDGING TABLE AT ALL.

  • Sweetwater has a limited supply of community tools available, which you are welcome to use.
  • The slab roller is an expensive piece of equipment that is shared!
    • Please ask your instructor to demonstrate proper use of the equipment.
    • DO NOT PUT CLAY ON THE SLAB ROLLER THAT IS MORE THAN 2 INCHES THICK

Sweetwater Ceramics Studio Policies for COVID-19 Safety

DO NOT USE THE WEDGING TABLE
DO NOT PUT CLAY IN OUR COMMUNITY RECLAIM BINS
ONLY ON PERSON AT A SINK AT A TIME

Please announce to the room you are going to the sink before getting up.
Communication with your classmates is key to keeping social distancing.

 WASH YOUR HANDS
DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE
WEAR YOUR MASK
STAY 6 FEET AWAY FROM INSTRUCTOR AND CLASSMATES 

THE STUDIO WILL BE DISINFECTED BETWEEN CLASSES AND RENTALS.

When an item is ready to be fired place it on the appropriate shelf in the kiln room. DO NOT touch or move any other pieces on theses shelves.

The bottoms of your work must have: Your name AND your class code!

  • We want to limit use of communal shelves. PLEASE put your name and class code on the bottom of your pieces so the technician can put your fired items on YOUR PERSONAL shelf.

As Always Please Keep the Studio Clean:

  • Keeping the dust level down is important for everyone’s health who uses the studio.
  • DO NOT sweep or use fans in the ceramic studio.
  • Wipe down all surfaces with clean water and sponges, including wheels and splash pans. Do not use soap.
  • Pick up any chucks of clay that are on the floor by hand. Do not sweep.
  • Please mop up the area you used after you are finished.
  • These steps will ensure a clean, dust reduced environment for all.
  • Always use clay trap sink to rinse tools, buckets and splash pans.

We will NOT recycle ANY clay at this time. DO NOT put your reclaim clay in the bins!!!

  • You may recycle your own clay. Mark a bucket and board with your name and keep on your personal shelf for use to reclaim.

Sweetwater tools and equipment:

  • You may bring your own tools.
  • You may still use Sweetwater’s tools. On the first day of class pick out your tools and a bucket and keep them on your shelf for the entirety of your class. Put your name on your bucket with tape and marker.
  • DO NOT leave your tools in the dish drainer at the sink. Take them back to your shelf after rinsing.
  • If you use a rag that can be reused, keep it on your shelf until it is ready to be washed. All used rags should be put in dirty rag bin. DO NOT rinse and hang rags to dry.
  • DO NOT USE THE WEDGING TABLE! All wedging and reclaim should be done on a board that you then keep on your personal shelf. Put your name on your board with tape and marker.

Please clean up after yourself.  Stay safe for yourself and others!

 

A GIFT FOR THE ARTS. DONATE TODAY.

When you or a family member is looking to take an art class, view an exhibition, or attend a cultural event, where do you turn? If you're like most in our community, you go to Sweetwater Center for the Arts.

$1,000 provides enough materials to fund a semester-long community outreach program.
$500 allows two senior citizens to take an oil painting class.
$250 provides enough clay for every student in an 8-week ceramics class.
$200 will send a child to summer camp for a week.
$100 provides the food for a culinary workshop.
$50 provides materials for two weeks of painting camps.

 Donate Now