Preparations are moving ahead, and we will soon welcome you to Chicago! As you might expect in this unusual year, there have been a few changes to our AGM schedule and plans. In addition, we want to use this AGM update to answer some of the questions we've heard from registrants. Please read the important notes below.
- Breakout presenters Gillian Dooley, Hazel Jones, Robert Sylvester, and Maria Biajoli are unable to attend. A revised breakout lineup is here. Other options for breakout sessions are in development. You do not need to change your registration for breakouts; simply attend the session of your choice.
- Special-interest presenters Angela Barlow, Lizzie Dunford, and Syrie James cannot attend. We have revised the schedule to reduce overlaps among presenters so that you can more easily enjoy as many of these special-interest sessions (which are included in your registration fee) as you wish.
- Thursday's Frank Lloyd Wright Robie and Rookery tour must now depart the hotel at 12:30, which creates a schedule conflict with the workshops running from 11:15-12:45. Contact the Registrar if you need to make a change.
- The City Highlights Bus Tour B and the Chicago Pizza Tour are cancelled due to low enrollment. City Highlights Tour A is still running and has availability. Our hosts will recommend some authentic Chicago pizza restaurants near the hotel.
- Two workshops, Watercolor II and Silhouette III, did not meet their minimums and were cancelled. You may switch to one of the other sessions where space is available or receive a refund.
- You may still fine-tune your registration selections. We expect to have extra tickets for most tours and workshops available for purchase at check-in.
- At 600 registrants, we are at the number we projected at the start of the year. This is a lower number than it would have been pre-COVID, but it will enable us to place more space between seats during programs.
- Hotel rooms are available at the JASNA rate for all nights. If you have not secured a room, please do so now, as we will turn back unused rooms to the hotel soon.
Banquet seating will not need to be arranged ahead of the AGM this year. We will have a sign-up station at the check-in desk. We are currently planning for standard tables of 10, but we will set only about half the number of tables the room will accommodate.
Health and Safety Updates
The following are answers to some questions we've received about the protocols we communicated in an email on August 8. (If you missed the email, you can find the the content posted here in the AGM Update Center as well.)
- At check-in at the AGM, an image of your complete vaccine certificate stored on your phone is acceptable for verification, if you do not want to bring your original certificate.
- Due to the Delta variant, we are requiring mask-wearing in all JASNA-sponsored activities and social spaces. There is currently a mandatory mask order for all indoor spaces in Illinois and the City of Chicago. Some museums, theaters, restaurants, and the like are also requiring vaccination certificates.
- Currently, 1.5% of registrants report not having received a COVID vaccine due to medical issues or sincerely held religious beliefs. These registrants will be required to present a negative COVID test result.
- Presenters will not wear masks while speaking at the podium so that they can be clearly heard and seen by attendees who rely on lip-reading. All meeting rooms will have audio systems, so that loud talking will not be required. Hotel management reports that they will take steps to improve ventilation, such as allowing outside air dampers to remain open, continuously running the public-space HVAC system, and implementing improved HVAC filtration.
We're Looking Forward To . . .
- Arts-focused extras included in the Attendee registration fee, including the staged reading of A.A. Milne's Miss Elizabeth Bennet. (The September issue of Jane Austen's Regency World magazine has an article on this fascinating play.)
- Shopping for books, bonnets, baubles, and more in the Emporium!
- The Pub Quiz Trivia Tournament on Saturday night. Gather your wits and your team members (4 to 6 people) and prepare to sign up at the AGM check-in table.
- Getting out and about in one of the nation's great cities. In addition to JASNA-sponsored tours, you may want to check out architectural boat tours (offered by several vendors, including this one) and other activities on the water. AGM weekend is also the weekend of Open House Chicago, which offers tours, walks, and programs celebrating the city's architectural, historic, and cultural sites.
- Seeing friends and making new ones! We're in discussion about making more space available for unscheduled social interactions.
"Jane Austen in the Arts" is just six weeks away! If you have questions or need help with registration changes, please contact us at the addresses below.
For AGM program questions: Kristen Miller Zohn and Jennifer Swenson email@example.com
For registration and payment questions: Debbie Duncan firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Slothouber email@example.com
For hotel and AGM policy questions: Linda Slothouber firstname.lastname@example.org