TACOMA, Wash. — The Tacoma Art Museum, like other art museums throughout Washington, shut down in March forcing a closure that rearranged the entire calendar year.
Beginning Oct. 9, the museum plans to reopen with a limited schedule that includes Friday, Saturday and Sunday visits for pre-planned visits. The plan calls for a 25% capacity limit. Guests will be required to wear masks, social distance and follow a prescribed route through the museum to limit in-person encounters.
“That will be a little different, but we think it’ll be safer and a healthier experience for everybody who wants to get out and see something,” said director of marketing Hillary Ryan.
The move comes at a time that it’s becoming apparent museums will handle the coronavirus pandemic differently.
The Tacoma Art Museum revamped their entire schedule when the pandemic settled in.
They launched an “Art is Always Open” campaign that included digital lectures, at-home lessons for students and a fundraiser gala that was held entirely online.
The executive director was quite frank in September at the gala telling donors that the museum had lost upwards of 500-thosuand dollars despite the swift changes. They believe they’re charting a course to safely return people to a different, but closer to normal approach – something that other museums may not have the chance to do because of their own financial situations.
“It looks like somewhere in the neighborhood of one in three museums may not re-open after COVID,” said Ryan. “The effect of being closed for this long is not something that people can weather.”
TAM will approach the next phase in a new way. In addition to in-person visits on weekends they’ll continue their digital presence that was developed during the pandemic, including their upcoming “In the Spirt” Northwest Native Arts Festival and an online Dia de los Muertos Festival.
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