Guild Hall has never been a typical arts organization. Founded as a civic space in 1931, our mission has always been to use the arts to connect our community. Now, this extraordinary time presents us with special challenges.
Our hearts go out to you and everyone affected by the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. The world is different for us all right now. Though we have closed our Museum, Theater, and Educational spaces, we have shifted to being in touch virtually through online communications and programming. We are doing all we can to maintain our presence in the lives of our friends and neighbors.
Guild Hall is no stranger to challenges, and with the love of our community, we’ve served three generations. We opened our doors during the Great Depression, and have operated continuously through economic ups and downs, the hurricane of 1938, WWII, and times of profound loss.
But a pandemic is not something we’ve experienced in these 89 years. This is the first time we have been unable to support the community by keeping our doors open and presenting the programs and exhibitions that we have always done. In the past, coming to the John Drew Theater has been a source of refuge for a community under stress, and we have taken joy in welcoming people to Guild Hall.
Now, of course, that is not possible. Our financial survival is dependent on ticket sales and the rental of our wonderful facilities, sources of income that have completely disappeared for the time being. Like so many local businesses and nonprofits, we have a lot of people relying on us for their livelihoods. We employ 56 people and pay for the services of over 50 small businesses, including newspapers, restaurants, hotels, freelance writers, designers, and photographers. And for many lifelong members, their touchstone for culture and friendship is Guild Hall.
In these unprecedented times, we are asking the community to rally. Please make a contribution today to ensure the future of Guild Hall at https://give.guildhall.org/
Fundamental to Guild Hall’s founding remains the belief that the arts nourish the roots of our society, connect us, and provide an antidote to troubled times. If you share these values, please show your support. We can’t invite you to come inside our doors today—but you can help us assure that our doors will reopen and Guild Hall will continue to serve the community when this difficult time comes to an end.
President, Academy of the Arts
Academy of the Arts Members
Jon Robin Baitz
Edwina von Gal
Emma Walton Hamilton
Edmund D. Hollander
Lee H. Skolnick
G. E. Smith
Christina Mossaides Strassfield
Harvey Ginsberg Postcard Collection. Courtesy of the East Hampton Library’s Long Island Collection.