The Phoenix Art Museum will re-open to the general public next month, with safety protocols in place to protect visitors and staff. CEO Tim Rodgers explained how the museum plans to welcome the public back.
The museum will be open to members Oct. 1 and to the general public Oct 14.
Rodgers is brand new on the job, having started July 1, at the height of the pandemic. He recently moved here from Miami Beach, where there was an early outbreak of COVID-19. Because of this, he says he came to Phoenix with more caution and has been an advocate for a later reopening.
“October seemed like a good time,” Rodgers said. “I think the numbers seem reasonable and people understand the precautions they need to take.”
All of the staff get their temperature taken upon arrival in the building and always wear masks. They are also requiring guests to wear masks at all times.
“We are also asking people to buy their tickets online so that we’d have less contact with the public and the public has less contact with us,” he said.
The museum will be regularly sanitized and they are using antibacterial paint to limit the spread of germs. They will also be limiting the number of people in the museum and will be watching for social distancing.
Every day the museum will have an hour reserved for seniors. Rodgers said the intention is to give them more protection and the opportunity to feel comfortable about returning.
An art exhibit was set to open before the museum closed down. Now, the postponed exhibit will coincide with the already planned October exhibits.
“In an odd sort of way the museum has never been more full of art,” Rodgers said. “It looks spectacular.”
The Phoenix Art Museum relies heavily on ticket sales and fundraising, therefore they’re “expecting to have severe impact.” They’ll have a better understanding of the economic impact as the year progresses.
Although the museum’s mission hasn’t changed, Rodgers said the perspective has shifted to “understanding the value of human interaction and engagement.”