Phase 3 Reopening

Last Friday, July 2, Governor Baker announced his plan for Phase 3 of the Massachusetts reopening plan. As most arts and cultural organizations will be reopening their spaces in Phases 3 and 4, MASSCreative is here to help make sense of the reopening plan and clearly communicate sector-specific guidance. The arts and cultural community has been hit hard by the pandemic, and reopening can be a difficult and daunting process. At MASSCreative, we are here to direct and support you as best we can.

Main take-aways from Phase 3 Reopening

As a Commonwealth, we have seen the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19 decrease thanks to following common-sense public health guidelines including wearing masks and maintaining social distances. As Phase 3 begins it will be our responsibility as a sector to carefully adhere to guidance and mandates in order to protect our artists, staff, audiences, and communities.

Below you will find direct links to industry-specific guidance for our sector. Similar to Phase 2, Phase 3 will involve two steps:

Phase 3, Step 1 (Begins today July 6th)
Please note: The City of Boston will begin Phase 3, Step 1 on Monday, July 13th. 

Phase 3, Step 2 (detailed guidance and start date will be released soon.)

  • Theaters and Performance Venues - indoor seating allowed
  • Indoor recreation - activities with greater potential for contact allowed. 

Phase 4 - Start date will be announced based on data and the progress of previous phases. 

  • Large capacity venues (arenas, stadiums, night clubs, exhibition and convention halls)


Reopening Resources

Victor "MARKA27" Quinonez's mural on Exchange Street in Lynn, MA

We recommend reviewing the Commonwealth’s Reopening Resources available on their website

In addition, here are several useful guides that provide national and international best practices: 

Submit your questions about Phase 3 & 4  Reopening

We understand that Reopening Guidance from the Commonwealth is ongoing and will evolve as more information and feedback are collected. MASSCreative has been in communication with the administration about your questions on Phases 3 and 4, and will relay information to you as soon as possible. We are still collecting questions with this form



Virtual Policy & Action Updates


We hope to provide more in-depth guidance at our next Policy & Action Update on Friday, July 10 from 9:45-10am.  This week we will feature arts and cultural organizations who have developed reopening plans for Phase 3.  Please join us. 

Register for MASSCreative’s July 10 Policy & Action Update



Relief for the Arts and Cultural Sector

Last week the Senate debated SB 2789, a Supplemental Budget that would set spending for COVID-19 related relief funds.  As part of the Senate Bill, Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth) filed Amendment #123 to create a relief fund for small cultural nonprofit organizations. Distributed by the Mass Cultural Council, the the fund would be for small nonprofit organizations with less than 25 employees. As Senator O’Connor said during the debate: “These organizations [small cultural nonprofits] are indispensable to our communities.". Many of these small groups were ineligible for the Paycheck Protection Program or CARES Act relief funds distributed by the NEA, NEH, IMLS, Mass Cultural Council and Mass Humanities. 

We are delighted to share that the amendment was accepted and a $2 million relief fund was included in the final Senate bill.  We encourage emailing Senator O’Connor (Patrick.O'[email protected]) and Senator Adam Hinds ([email protected]) a note of thanks for their leadership and advocacy for this fund.

From here the bill will go to conference committee where the House and Senate will reconcile differences between their versions. We recognize that the needs of our sector are great requiring multiple policy interventions, government programs and safety nets in order to get us through prolonged closure.  This fund is a piece of our overall advocacy and efforts.


If you’re looking for more COVID-19 resources, you can check out MASSCreative’s COVID-19 pages, including updates, resources, advocacy, policy recommendations, and policy & action updates.

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