How are museums faring? Most are hanging in. But…

Museums Screen Shot 2020-07-29 at 1.16.53 PM

Coming home after a quick mini-vacation to attend a family event, I spent yesterday getting caught up on Denver: encampments, COVID-19, the designation of a mortuary that was hard fought and now is a landmark, and a move to amend a section of Denver’s municipal code to permit residents to own pit bulls. If approved by the full Denver City Council, it will be placed on the ballot for November 3, 2020.

What a year.

But it’s time for a little break from all of this. Instead, there was a story in Hyperallergic that was concerning: The American Alliance of Museums took a survey that “virus-related closures would have devastating effects on institutions.”

Of course, this is no surprise. When I was out of town, I usually visit the art museum in that city. It opened in mid-June, but we didn’t go. I’ve been in the Denver Art Museum with very few people around, and a couple of galleries. There will be more this week. But out of town, no.

The AAM’s information was based on a survey of 760 museum directors. Then, this: “Nearly 90% of museums have only 12 months or less of financial operating reserves remaining, it found, with 56% having less than six months to cover operations.”

The DAM, MCA Denver, Clyfford Still Museum, the Museum of Outdoor Art, and the Museo de las Americas are open. The Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art is not open. There are fewer people allowed to enter, but …. bit by bit.

For better news, also in Hyperallergic, is a story about the House of Representatives that passed a bi-partisan bill to create The National Museum of the American Latino. It will be part of the Smithsonian family and be located on the Mall in Washington, D.C.

This idea has been talked about over two decades, and if this idea is approved by the Senate, the bill would establish a board of trustees to guide its path. The best part of the story: “It would also authorize a 50% federal match to privately raised dollars for design and construction costs, as well as grants to help develop Latinx museums across the country.”

The links below lead to the AAM survey, to the Latino museum in D.C., and to the AAM website.




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