Updated Sept. 21, 2021

To protect all in attendance, PEN America will enforce a robust set of health and safety measures for the 2021 PEN America Literary Gala in New York City.

In accordance with the policies of our venue—the American Museum of Natural History—and executive orders from the New York City mayor’s office, we will require that all attendees including hosts, honorees, presenters, PEN America employees, and volunteers present proof of COVID-19 vaccination and, for individuals aged 18 or older, personal identification to enter the museum. The gala is not open to individuals under the age of 12.

As an added measure, PEN America will also require that each guest, regardless of age, present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the event.

Upon arrival, staff will greet attendees and verify proof of vaccination, negative test results, and accompanying identification. Electronic documentation is acceptable. Any attendee who does not present all of these require documents will not be permitted to enter the premises.

PEN America and the museum will require that masks be worn over every participant’s nose and mouth at all times, except while actively eating or drinking. Masks will be available at the entrance for any attendee who needs one, and ample signage, staff, and volunteers will be on hand to remind guests to properly mask up.

As an added precaution, we have reduced capacity inside the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life to increase distancing for the dinner and program.

These guidelines are subject to change up to and including the date of the event. PEN America will update this document and remind guests of our vaccination, testing, and masking requirements before the event.

We are working in close consultation with medical experts in infectious diseases in order to develop, refine, and implement our protocols.

COVID-19 Warning: An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. By attending this function, attendees voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.