Cape Cod is doing such a great job at flattening the curve that we have been able to enjoy activities that make our region such a special place — spending a day at the beach, eating outside, and shopping our picturesque Main Streets.
Now, museums and cultural facilities are preparing to open their doors to us.
These organizations have invested significant time, resources, care and caution in their reopening strategies. Their goal is to connect us to the arts in a fashion that protects our health and safety. Many facilities have allocated capital in timed ticketing and updating their HVAC systems.
Because of reduced staffing and limited guest entry, you might end up getting a personal tour of an exhibit by the museum’s director!
But remember, this new way of visiting a museum isn’t really the most economical way to run a business. With added expenses that include hand sanitizer, signage, and masks coupled onto reduced capacity, our cultural organizations are feeling the financial strain of the pandemic.
And then there is the emotional toll. Some staff will be nervous about getting sick, taking cash, and trying to communicate to patrons after wearing a mask for several hours. Many cultural leaders are practicing how to handle policing visitors on mask wearing and social distancing. I’m sure staff never thought this would be in their job descriptions when they eagerly jumped at the chance to work in a museum.
Bathrooms are now considered sacred space, There hasn’t been a meeting in the past week that has not mentioned the fear of bathroom protocol for staff and visitors. Yes, we laugh and overshare at these discussions, but the fear is real.
It’s our job as patrons to think of ourselves as a community partner in this new way of life. How do we make going to a museum easy on the staff, enjoying the space and time we have to see an exhibit that was planned months, if not years ago.
Being a thoughtful citizen on Cape Cod right now is really paying off for us because we’re following best practices. We are so ready to have more LIVE culture in our lives. Let’s all do our best to make it a pleasant, rewarding, and enriching experience.
As we eagerly anticipate our cultural institutions to reopen, please, be patient. Be kind. Be understanding. And be supportive of our cultural leaders and their staff who have been through so much over the past three months.