Some Museums Might Not Stand the Test of Time


There are very few if any industries not ravaged by the effect of the pandemic, but museums, who generally exist on the kindness of strangers and benefactors, are really struggling.

“Right now our goal is to remain open, for as long as we can,” says Henry Yau, promotions and marketing for Children’s Museum Houston. “As long as people continue to support us, but we don’t know. Times are really uncertain. We are optimistic that there are families that want to visit us.”

Houston is the rare gem city in America, in the world, that boasts opera, dance, ballet, fine art galleries, modern art, live theater, a world-class children’s museum, a planetarium, history and more, and there is a risk of losing these remarkable treasures if visitors don’t return soon.

The expense of maintaining all CDC safety protocols for hand-sanitizers, temperature checks and masks alone is daunting, not to mention meeting payrolls of highly specialized curators, historians, scientists, artisans, dancers, ticket-takers and the rest who have families and mortgages and children.

The Children’s Museum Houston opens childrens’ minds with awe and creativity and it’s taking an added measure of both for it operators to innovate with new attractions to entice families to come by. “I can tell you that we’re taking it one day at a time,” says Yau. “There are good days and there are days when it is very difficult. Just like all other museums, we are facing financial constraint.” They have virtual programs for those who don’t feel safe leaving the comfort of home yet.

If you are stir crazy, bored, cabin fever, have seen everything on Netflix, twice, consider a trip to the Houston Museum District. 19 phenomenal museums in walking distance at a time the best thing you can do is go out for a walk. Park once and walk. Take selfies. Break the monotony. People travel to France to see the Louvre and we’ve got something as good here. Live in Conroe, Katy, or League City and don’t get to Houston often? Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies, there is a wealth of culture awaiting your curiosity, and an industry that desperately needs your support to survive. Check out each museum’s website before you go. Some are operating on limited schedules, with limited days, and even free ones sometimes require reservations now.

A firm called Dynamic Benchmarking did a survey of museums and finds a third don’t know if they can make it 16 months and there’s a sizable chunk that don’t know if they can make it six months. 87% of museum directors say they can’t get past 12 months because that just isn’t their business model. 44% have had to furlough or lay off staff.


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