Coronavirus updates in Denver: news you can use and slices of life in these weird times

It’s like your Twitter feed right now but with fewer trolls and more news.

A vacant piano in the Brown Palace's empty tea lounge, March 19, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A vacant piano in the Brown Palace's empty tea lounge, March 19, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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3:19 p.m. What happens when the show can’t go on?

Lisa Kennedy spoke to arts organization in Denver who are already preparing (if not very much feeling) the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Lisa writes:

Before he became president and CEO of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, Gary Steuer was the leader of New York City’s Arts and Business Council, overseeing the group during 9/11. He participated in an arts leadership intervention in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and began his role as Chief Cultural Officer for the City of Philadelphia on October 1, 2008, just as the Great Recession was beginning.

“Nothing compares with what we’re dealing with now,” he said over the phone.

9:32 a.m. A church in Cap Hill has opened its fellowship hall to people experiencing homelessness

The warming center at Belong Church at 1615 Ogden St. opened at 9 a.m. today and will remain open until 6 p.m. It can accommodate up to 40 people.

In a Facebook post Friday, Chris Conner, who is homelessness resolution director for Denver’s housing department, said the arrangement was made with help from the faith-based Juniper Formation and the advocacy group Denver Homeless Out Loud.

“We’re here to run the space,” said Terese Howard of Denver Homeless Out Loud. “I’m here now.”

Such spaces were needed “due to the extreme weather and the lack of libraries and anywhere for folks to hang out,” she said.

La Alma Recreation Center at 1325 W 11th Ave. in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and the St. Francis Center’s day shelter at 2323 Curtis St. in Five Points also were providing warming centers Friday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rec centers across the city are closed for normal operations and libraries also shuttered in an attempt to decrease encounters between people to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

-Donna Bryson

9:32 a.m. How one local TV reporter is dating right now

Zack Newman, a 9News journalist, was quoted in this GQ article about dating while in self-quarantine. His quote is really uplifting and a reminder that life goes on.

8:30 a.m. The RiNo Art District launches the “Keep RiNo Rolling” campaign

If you feel like you aren’t doing your part to support local businesses, the RiNo Art District has your back. It launched a campaign designed to keep businesses in business in the arts district. Check out the Keep RiNo Rolling website for info on who’s offering what to-go.

-Ana Campbell

5 a.m. Really, coronavirus? You had to silence the pianos at The Brown Palace?

Don’t miss the excellent story by Ryan Warner (yes, that Ryan Warner) about the hotels pianist, who just lost his job but is incredibly hopeful. The radio version made me teary-eyed. (By the way, Ryan met the pianist on the street, and when he found out what had happened to him he pulled him into the studio.)

ICYMI: The city is offering some small-business owners and artists relief

The coronavirus has basically shut down the city, putting small-business owners and the creative community in an awful bind. On Thursday, Mayor Hancock announced the city would provide them with some relief. Read more here.

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