Museums in Crisis – New York State

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NYC Museums reopen as state COVID-19 numbers continue to fall. New York’s museums and cultural institutions will be able to reopen later this month, for the first time since they were temporarily closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Newly opened museums must comply with strict rules.

Visitors have to wear protective masks, and the throughput is limited to 25%. There are also rules designed to ensure social distancing and crowd control.

How long can N.Y.C. museums survive at 25 percent capacity?

Museums in Crisis - New York State
A staff member welcomes visitors outside the American Museum of Natural History

More than a month after most of New York’s most prestigious museums have reopened to the public, they are in an existential crisis, fueled by a government-sanctioned 25 percent cut in capacity.

While the New York City museums greet these visitors with a smile and the promise of a safe experience, administrators behind the scenes wonder how long they can stay in this meager employment without significant cuts in staff or coding.

This is not to say that a visit to the New York Museum is always solitary. Visiting a museum during a pandemic can feel like an adventure game. If you come on a weekday, a spooky emptiness can make you feel like you’re sneaking out of office hours. But on weekends, you may have to queue outside to check the temperature.

Museums in Crisis - New York State
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where about 91,500 people visited in September, compared with 381,500 during the same month last year.

The NYS Museum Offers Virtual Tours during Pandemic

Museums in Crisis - New York State

One of the most extensive exhibits at the NYS Museum is dedicated to the bicentennial of the construction of the Erie Canal.

Catherine Weller, director of education at the NYS Museum, said that It was a great way to bring the economy to the state, to turn the state into the Empire State, but also a way to really get the message across to the entire state. It really explores not only the construction of the canal and its economic impact but also how the Erie Canal helped transform New York in the 20th century and into the modern era.

As the NY museum remains closed to visitors during the pandemic, its chief historian invites history buffs on a virtual tour of the exhibition. Weller said that even though they could not offer the visitor an actual visit, they were trying to provide him with a little bit of what behind the scenes could peek into some information they could get from our senior historians.

Held three days a week on the museum’s Facebook page since April, these virtual tours cover all the different sections and exhibits of the huge museum. Weller said they were popular with both history buffs and school-aged children.

Some of their programs have over 1000 viewers, some of them are watched by up to 3000 or 4000 people. Weller said that it was really amazing to see such a big impact on each of these excursions.

 

Weller said that with guided tours hosted on both the museum’s website and YouTube, they had found a new way to let more people than ever before enjoy just about everything the NYS Museum has to offer.

It was really gratifying, and it provided a direct connection with the visitors. It also created an opportunity for scholars, historians, and museum professors to truly explore some of the things they would like to talk about with visitors. This is really wonderful.

Museums in Crisis - New York State
NYS Museum Offers Virtual Field Trips during the pandemic

The NY State Museum meets the educational needs of New Yorkers and visitors throughout their lives through its collections, exhibitions, scholarships, programs, media, and publications in the fields of science, history, anthropology, and the arts.

The museum explores and reflects New York State’s significant natural and cultural diversity, past and present. The NYS Museum is an art, science, and history center dedicated to the study of the state’s human and natural history.

Founded in 1836, it is the country’s oldest and largest state museum. Since its inception, the NYS Museum has been home to some of the country’s leading scientists, including the founders of American paleontology, ethnology, botany, and mycology.

Its collections are considered among the finest in many fields, with over 16 million scientific specimens and one million cultural objects. The NY State Museum, located at the southern end of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller’s architecturally gorgeous Empire State Plaza in Albany, welcomes visitors from around the world and thousands of students every year.

Its exhibition space is 100,000 square feet. It includes several new exhibitions per year in addition to long-term exhibitions. The NYS museum also offers a variety of educational community programs for students of all ages.

Fund to support NYS history museums during the pandemic

Museums in Crisis - New York State

The new funding has become available to New York museums in times of struggling with the COVID-9 Pandemic. The William G. Pomeroy Foundation has teamed up with the Museum Association of New York to provide funding.

Pomeroy Foundation executive director Paula Miller said that the $ 50,000 Pomeroy Foundation for New York State History was designed to prevent the collapse of local museums. She commissioned any interested historical organization with a budget of less than $ 100,000 to submit applications through the MANY websites.

They were going to provide grants ranging from $ 1,000 to $ 2,000 to help with things like paying utility bills, securing premises, purchasing computer equipment, or expanding Internet access. Nearly every museum is having virtual meetings and trying to showcase their digital collections and keep in touch with members via social media. It is something that perhaps many of these smaller organizations have not necessarily had to do in the past.

MANY CEO Erica Sanger said candidates didn`t have to belong to MANY to qualify.

Museums Chronicle Coronavirus Pandemic for Future Generations

Museums in Crisis - New York State

The Historical Society of NY has asked for donations of items and ephemera to document the unprecedented times in which we now live.

In the spring, the Historical Society of New York (N-YHS) announced an open call for donations to donate items, photographs, digital documents, and other ephemera documenting the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, as part of its longstanding initiative to preserve the city’s most important moments.

The organization started looking for thermometers, disinfectants for digital devices, artwork, and signs posted in public places, flyers for emergency food services, makeshift protective gear, and leisure activities under safer home orders such as puzzles and coloring books.

The organization was founded in 1804 on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Its founders realized the need to preserve the eyewitness accounts of their historical moment.

 

However, receiving donations has presented a logistical challenge during the pandemic, in part due to government-sanctioned social distancing measures that could prevent delivery. Other items, such as personal protective equipment, for example, face masks are still heavily used.

As such, N-YHS relies on the dissemination of information through open appeal and is actively reaching out to individuals, small businesses, and other institutions to save items and ephemera for collection at a later time.

However, N-YHS Executive Director Dr. Louise Mirrer says that they continue to practice documenting history as it comes in so that future generations can better understand the unprecedented times we live in now.

The organization is a part of the History Responds initiative launched in 2001 after the September 11 attacks in the city. It has since collected materials related to major events such as the 2017 Women’s March and the Black Lives Matter movement.

In preparation for archiving and future exhibitions, the N-YHS museum division will focus on telling stories related to collected Covid-19 objects, such as life in quarantine, while the library department will focus on matching paper ephemera.

The Department of Education also invites young people to record and share diaries of their experiences, which can be sent either by video or in writing.

The NYS Museum, located in Albany, NY, and the Museum of the City of New York has also begun efforts to chronicle the pandemic. Other institutions in other states have also joined in, for example, the Atlanta Historic Center in Georgia.

The founders of N-YHS once said that if they didn’t collect and save, history would turn to dust and speculation.

 

 

 

 

 

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