The center has been closed for the past year due to the COVID pandemic. They have been able to continue their programs virtually and even got a new partnership.
“We have recovery groups that meet here, we have coming up groups, transcripts, we do lots of arts and entertainment so people come for our gallery and art openings and music openings. We do HIV testing here,” Affirmations Executive Director Dave Garcia said.
One thing Affirmations didn’t offer was a theater program.
“Obviously the theater has always been important to the LGBTQ community. We have our own favorite here in Ferndale, the Ringwald Theatre right down the street from us, they’ve been there for many, many years,” Garcia said.
After 14 years at that location on Woodward, the Ringwald Theatre ended its lease right after the pandemic hit.
“We were essentially paying rent on what was a very large storage space that we hadn’t been able to use since March of last year,” Ringwald Theatre Artistic Director Joe Bailey said.
Bailey knew they’d find another location but wasn’t sure if they could remain in Ferndale.
“Once we closed up shop there and we just received this outpouring of love and support from the community and really learned that it was important for Ferndale as a city to keep us in Ferndale,” Bailey said.
That’s when Affirmations stepped in. They offered their community room to the theater.
It’s going to take time to get the empty room ready to be a theater, but they believe it will be the perfect new home for the theater.
Affirmations also announced that they will be reopening their doors for in-person programs starting on August 1.