NEW MILFORD — A popular arts center downtown has reopened after being closed for six months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Village Center for the Arts, a non-profit art studio and teaching center, is now offering virtual and studio art classes.

During the center’s temporary closure, staff renovated its space and reconfigured the main studio to prepare for the artistic challenges ahead.

In addition to the new look, new safety protocols have been implemented to adhere to State of Connecticut guidelines, including mask wearing, smaller class size, social distancing, and increased cleaning of surfaces and touchpoints.

Another change at the center is leadership. Jayson Roberts, who co-owns the center with Sharon Kaufman, has assumed the role of executive director.

He follows the long and successful tenure of Kaufman, who has shifted her attention to teaching again, serving as director of instruction.

“This is really formalizing what has been happening for a while now,” said Ben Grinnell, VCA’s board president. “We are so grateful to Sharon for her many years of hard work and leadership, and we know that she will bring her trademark enthusiasm and creativity to the continued innovation at the Center’s educational core.”

“Jayson has been running the operations of the center for a long time, so we are very excited for him to move into the executive director role,” Grinnell said. “It’s a crazy time right now, but Jay has the drive and resourcefulness to make things happen, with a new look and energy, especially as VCA “comes of age” as we enter our 21st year.”

Numerous classes have been proposed to be offered. They include drawing, painting, and multimedia arts in the large studio on Main Street, and pottery in the lower level studio on Church Street.

The main studio will also be available by appointment for open studio.

Over the summer, VCA cleaned and renovated its space, offered free Creativity Care Packages art packs to do art from home; inspired do-it-yourself activities with a frame sale fundraiser; and painted eight quilt patterns on 8x8 foot panels in support of the New Milford Barn Quilt Trail.

Village Center for the Arts is located at 12 Main Street on the downtown green in New Milford.

The mission of the Center is to provide a nurturing environment for artistic creativity and development through educational fine art programs and events for all ages.

More information is available at www.villagecenterarts.org or follow VCA on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram.