Visual arts program trip abroad postponed

Students+on+the+2019+trip+abroad+to+Spain+pose+in+the+Charles+V+palace+of+the+Alhambra.

Courtesy of LJVA travel Instagram

Students on the 2019 trip abroad to Spain pose in the Charles V palace of the Alhambra.

Lovejoy Visual Arts’ second abroad trip was postponed Thursday night after increased precautions from the district and CDC over Coronavirus fears. The 53 teachers, chaperones and students were scheduled to go to Florence, Rome, the Matoria region of Greece and Athens over spring break.

“The trip [will be postponed to] either summer or spring break next year,” art teacher Amanda Beller said. “I personally am hoping for summer. I would like for the seniors to be able to go, and there is no guarantee what will align with their schedule next year.” 

Over 3,000 people have died from the virus that stemmed from a market in Wuhan, China. In Italy, over 1,600 cases are confirmed. The government issued a level three travel warning to Italy on Saturday, Feb. 29.

“It wasn’t our decision [to postpone the trip], but the district decided to postpone it based on the numbers [of confirmed Coronavirus cases] coming out of Italy,” Beller said. “The day after that, the CDC and state department raised the travel warning to level three, and it had been level two, and so we would not have probably been able to go anyway because of that.”

Art teacher Brice MacCasland had trip participants buy the trip’s travel insurance so they wouldn’t lose the approximate $4000 spent on the trip. 

“I’m very thankful that we have the insurance and that that was his decision,” Beller said. “The insurance is not cash back because that is not how insurance policies work, but it is a voucher, and so that voucher if a student can’t go can be sold to another student who wants to go. So, everyone will be able to get some sort of compensation for it, that’s just how trip insurance works.”

The group’s trip is with EF educational tours. Last year’s trip throughout Spain marked the first trip abroad for the art program.

For junior Scarlett Terwage, the trip’s postponement was devastating. 

“I cried for a long time,” Terwage said. “I had been looking forward to it for seven or eight months. I had already bought new shoes and clothes, and Hope Ledebur and I had planned to take cute pictures. This was going to be one of those once in a lifetime opportunities that we can look back on from high school.”