On March 12, Elsie K. Powell House was closed to any in-person visits due to COVID-19 precautions. Since then, it has re-oriented its programming toward providing pay-as-led, mainly two-hour virtual workshops on Saturdays. Thus far Powell House has offered over 25 workshops that have attracted approximately 250 individuals from all over the world. The youth program has also focused on virtual events for the past six months, as well as welcomed new youth directors: Sarah and Martin Glazer.
The management of the house’s closure has been well supported by the governance of the Powell House Committee. Staff have been paid throughout the closure. Most have returned to onsite work utilizing social distancing protocols. Additionally, plans for a capital campaign have gone forward, focusing on updating and renovating outdated electric, heating, and water systems, as well as creating endowment resources for future programming that is based on the strategic plan. The financial contributions of constituents and other supporters have been integral for enabling Powell House to survive throughout this pandemic.