Phoenix Art Museum announces that it will continue its closure of the Museum’s physical spaces due to the spread of COVID-19 across the state of Arizona this summer. Prioritizing its commitment to the health and well-being of the community it serves, as well as the health of its staff, the Museum continues to monitor the recommendations of state public-health officials as it aims to re-open to Members on October 1 and the general public on October 14. The Museum’s leadership, led by Sybil Harrington Director and CEO Timothy R. Rodgers, PhD, will continue to meet throughout the summer with the institution’s Board of Trustees to determine a path to re-opening safely for its community this fall.
“Phoenix Art Museum seeks to balance its mission of providing access to arts and educational programming with its commitment to public health and safety amidst the pandemic. In order to fulfill that mission while doing our part to help stop the spread of the virus, the Museum will remain closed for now and will continue to increase its digital engagement activities through our weekly Virtual Visits, our bilingual Museum blog, our comprehensive website and social media channels, and new virtual gallery tours, lectures, and educational events that deliver access to our collection in safe yet meaningful ways,” said Rodgers, who began in his new role with the Museum on July 1.
Museum staff have also created a comprehensive plan designed to reduce the risk of infection for visitors and staff when it re-opens to Members on October 1 and the general public on October 14. This plan features a number of safety measures and operational changes, including a cap on the number of visitors permitted into the Museum per day, continuous disinfecting and cleaning practices, required masks for both staff and visitors, and encouragement to purchase tickets to the Museum in advance of visiting. In addition, the Museum will offer some visiting periods exclusive to seniors as an additional form of protection for this vulnerable population. The Museum’s plan and its anticipated October re-opening are subject to change based on recommendations from state and municipal public-health officials.
The impact of the closure on the Museum and many other arts and cultural institutions is profound, as Museum admissions and Membership sales provide vital financial support for all areas of the institution’s operations, including facilities upkeep, education and curatorial efforts, and the maintenance and conservation of the Museum’s collections.
“This is an unprecedented time in the Museum’s history, as both the closure and the challenges caused by the economic downturn impact our ability to serve our community,” said Rodgers. “We are grateful to our generous Members and donors who have continued to support Phoenix Art Museum even while they are not able to visit. Their generosity is helping to ensure the institution’s stability and existence for years to come.”
In response to the closure, the Museum will offer an extension on all annual Memberships. In addition, the Museum will extend some exhibitions affected by the closure, including Teresita Fernández: Elemental, India: Fashion’s Muse, and Ansel Adams: Performing the Print. The Museum will continue to communicate news about the closure to its community, volunteers, Museum Members, and Circles of Support through email and social media and on http://www.phxart.org.