TACOMA – The museums in the Tacoma Museum District are pleased that cultural institutions around the state have been given the option of reopening in Phase 2 or 3, under specific protocols.
The directors of the Tacoma Museum District entities (Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass, Foss Waterway Seaport, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, and LeMay – America’s Car Museum), who have held weekly remote meetings throughout the pandemic, recently met with Dr. Anthony Chen, Director of the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department to hear his agency’s perspective on our local COVID-19 transmission rates and trends.
Tacoma remains a hot spot in Washington, but is headed in the right direction, with new COVID-19 cases declining. As community partners, we recognize our role in helping to reduce transmission of this virus through thoughtful decision-making when it comes to reopening our buildings to the public. For now, we have chosen to stay “paused” as we continue to monitor local conditions on a daily basis. While the buildings are closed, many staff are working remotely to provide enriching online presentations and activities, as well as providing extensive downloadable learning materials to engage with history, arts and culture from home. We encourage you to check each museum’s website for remote events, apps, curriculum and other online activities.
We are also preparing to reopen. We are eager to welcome our community back into our museums for uplifting connection, learning, and creative experiences. The reopening timeline will be different for each museum based on the layout of our individual buildings, staffing configurations, financial models, and exhibition styles. For example, due to the highly interactive nature of the playscapes at Children’s Museum of Tacoma, it will not reopen until next year, while museums with fewer touchable exhibitions or activities will reopen sooner. Each museum will post updates on their website and their social media platforms to alert the public to individual opening timelines.
When the museums do reopen, visitors will find that we have planned for both their safety and their enjoyment. Through universal mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing stations throughout our facilities, one-way routes through our galleries, and enhanced cleaning schedules we will do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. And through the new exhibits we have planned, we look forward to doing what we do best – entertaining and educating our visitors through world-class museum experiences.
You can find more information at the Tacoma Museum District’s Facebook page (@TacomaMuseums) and each museum’s website (www.WashingtonHistory.org, www.TacomaArtMuseum.org, www.MuseumofGlass.org, www.AmericasCarMuseum.org, fosswaterwayseaport.org/, and playtacoma.org). We look forward to seeing you again.