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Imagine Museum shares reopening practices, plants flag for way forward

Megan Holmes

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The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce presents: Coronavirus Impact Insights. Click the play arrow above to watch the full video.

On this episode, Jane Buckman, executive director of Imagine Museum joins Chris Steinocher, CEO of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Joe Hamilton, publisher of the St. Pete Catalyst.

But first, as usual, Steinocher takes listeners through the Florida Chamber Scorecard for Pinellas County. He says the outlook is optimistic, as the percent of positive tests cases sits at 1.26 percent. The 14-day average of positive cases is down to 20, following a weekend high of 22.4.

Buckman shares how the Imagine Museum has grappled with COVID-19 and the decision to reopen the Museum over Mother’s Day weekend. She explains that the museum’s mission is to inspire, uplift and educate, and the best way to do that is to provide a physical place where people can go to be immersed in art, something Buckman says has benefitted her during the pandemic.

She discussed these issues in a May 12 Catalyst Sessions interview.

Buckman says her reduced staff, amid layoffs and furloughs has been working diligently behind the scenes to get sure the museum’s long-term facility and collection projects are taken care of, and so the museum was fully prepared to reopen when it did.

The reopened museum started with minimal hours, and plans to move to operating six days per week next week. Buckman says every visitor and staff members wear masks, and masks are provided when visitors buy tickets. Staff has placed hand sanitizer throughout the museum, and posted the museum’s procedures on every wall.

The museum’s glass art is cleaned three times per week, and surfaces throughout the museum are cleaned every 1.5 hours. Similarly, the museum’s retail space has been completely redesigned to reduce touchpoints and change the way shoppers interact with the pieces for sale, including changing displays and allowing jewelry to be shown by staff in masks and gloves exclusively.

Resources:

St. Pete X Episode 34: Joanna Sikes

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