Many Texas institutions and places of culture and learning are closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – that includes museums. But some are finding ways to connect with the public even if people can’t attend in person.
Alex Freeman is executive director of the Texas Association of Museums, and he says museums are offering a variety of options during the closures, ranging from educational packets for pickup, to crowdsourced online photo collections.
Freeman says even before the pandemic, his association was helping museums develop their online presences. That’s especially important for smaller museums, he says, because many of them only have Facebook pages.
“I want them to really take a look at what they have on hand – what kind of photos, media, video and take some time and get that stuff online,” he says.
Here’s what some Texas museums are offering during the closures:
Bell County Museum:
Educational packets are available for pick up so students can learn at home while schools are closed.
El Paso Museum of History:
Its DIGIE program allows people to add their own photos of life in El Paso to the museum’s growing online collection.
Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth:
It offers online learning about Texas’ pioneer era, and is adding more videos to its YouTube channel.
Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock:
The museum has been using the Adobe Spark tool to develop a fine arts gallery on its website.
The Health Museum in Houston:
Freeman says its exhibit “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World,” is especially informative given the current pandemic. But visitors will have to wait to see it in person when the museum opens back up.
Many Texas museums are nonprofit, and rely on donations. Freeman says most have information about how to donate on their websites.
Written by Caroline Covington.