For cultural institutions, like the Milwaukee Art Museum, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly painful. Like other groups, the museum closed its doors back in March and was forced to find alternative ways to engage with the community.
Brigid Globensky, the senior director of education and programs at the museum, says this experience has been a crash course in digitizing their work but one she thinks will ultimately make the museum stronger.
Now, the Milwaukee Art Museum is set to reopen its doors on Thursday — but with extra precautions.
Globensky says the museum had always discussed virtual learning opportunities but never had the time or resources. Now, the museum has created video tours of exhibits, a digital catalog with over 9,000 pieces, and even artistic lesson plans for kids to do at home.
“As we begin to reopen and think about the future, it’s a two-track system. It’s really what we do on-site and we do online that will complement each other,” says Globensky.
So, if the reopening goes well and the museum can continue to safely allow patrons back into its building, it will still offer virtual content.
Even as exhibits open back up, programming like the MAM Summer Arts Camps will continue to be completely virtual. Josh Depenbrok, the public relations manager for the museum, says, “We’ve built a really robust section on our website that will continue to be robust."
For patrons planning a trip to the museum, you must agree to its code of conduct, which includes wearing a mask, keeping social distance, following the dedicated route, and being kind.