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As you are aware, the State of CT has declared a public health emergency in response to COVID-19.
Due to current guidance from our state and local Health Departments, and in the interest of protecting the high-risk populations we serve, and the high-risk populations who volunteer for us, the Danbury Museum is continuing to reschedule or cancel all programs, events, rentals, historic house tours, exhibition viewings, and outreach activities through the end of January 2021.
The Danbury Museum will not be accommodating onsite research.
If your community group has booked rental space at the Danbury Museum to meet, we will be in contact to reschedule. Our interest is to continue serving our community while maintaining the safety and health of our staff, volunteers, and public.
We will continue to communicate any further impacts to the Danbury Museum as a result of COVID-19. In the meantime, as a reminder, the Danbury Museum has several social media platforms and has continued and will continue to supply a high volume of content over the next few months.
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Thank you for your patience as we work through this developing situation together.
For all of our members, visitors, or volunteers who are wondering, though museums are part of Governor Lamont’s Phase 2 reopening plan, the guidelines for safe reopening, (including the necessary PPE required and the critical cleaning aspects), in conjunction with our small spaces within the historic buildings and Huntington Hall, combine to make a current reopening both financially unrealistic for the Danbury Museum and unsafe for staff and visitors.
As our colleagues at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center so eloquently stated, “It is clear that the historic house museum and broader arts and culture community, with its reliance on leisure travel and moving people through indoor spaces, will experience the impacts of the pandemic for a longer stretch of time than other businesses and organizations. We anticipate our audience—cultural tourists, school field trips, and group tours—will return in sustainable numbers in 2021.”
The Danbury Museum will reopen fully to the public as soon as it is safe to do so. We hope to have limited Huntington Hall exhibit accessibility in January 2021. This date is subject to change as we continue to evaluate public health information. Opening the hall to visitors and small group meetings will be done only after discussion with local health department officials and following State of CT guidelines.
Research requests can still be submitted via our website, and donations of historic items can be dropped off with a scheduled appointment, please call 203-743-5200 or email email@example.com to make arrangements. We hope to resume a limited number of research appointments at the beginning of November, again, with all safety measures in place.
We are embracing this unusual moment to create and display several outdoor exhibitions, that enhance our campus, and encourage community use while still ensuring that guests can maintain safe distances; to develop and deliver digital content; develop richer experiences and other infrastructure that will roll out when we fully reopen; paint and freshen up the interior spaces of our historic buildings; complete the installation of the Charles Ives Birthplace exhibition, and create blueprints for the future use of the Danbury Museum campus.
Wait, what about the Hat City Ball?
Our beloved Hat City Ball will, like many other galas taking place this year, be transitioned into an online event with a variety of guest speakers and other entertainment streamed straight to your home for the safety and comfort of our supporters. We will be working with the Amber Room Colonnade, as usual, to provide a pick-up meal service so you can expect the same delicious experience as in previous years.
Tell me about this outdoor programming. . .
You may have noticed some of the changes we’ve implemented on our Main Street campus on your drives by: A brand new (and much needed) modern sign; new and improved fences; additional flower beds lovingly cared for by Danbury’s own Garden Club. But it doesn’t stop there. We are rather pleased to announce that we will reveal two outdoor exhibitions within the month of July, which we anticipate will be on display through November. These two new exhibits will be complemented by the opportunity to stroll through the museum gardens, enjoy a children's book that you can read aloud, or to yourself, and QR codes that bring you to areas online, via your phones, to read more about our historic buildings.
Now tell me about this digital content. . .
The Danbury Museum has added soooooo much content to our website while we’ve been working from home. Please check out Danbury Museum From Home and follow the links to museum newsletters, books, puzzles, and fun downloads. Additionally, modified tours of our historic buildings as well as the exterior exhibits will be available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese soon.
How is the Danbury Museum getting all of these projects done?
Leadership at the Danbury Museum continues to carefully steward the organization’s resources. You can contribute to the Danbury Museum’s future by making a donation or becoming a member. You can join with a monthly, sustaining membership here.
Will we have to wear a mask while we are working safely behind the doors of the museum now, and when we have modified our access plan for November?
Everyone entering Danbury Museum buildings must wear a mask and must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entry. Temperatures will be taken and recorded and entry allowed as long as your temperature is less than 99 degrees. All staff, volunteers, and visitors will be asked to maintain a safe six-foot distance from each other. No exceptions. Staff members have the responsibility to follow Danbury Museum protocols to keep themselves, visitors, and volunteers safe. Entry will be denied if you cannot, or will not, comply with these basic safety protocols.
What are we doing at the DMHS to help move forward in the effort to re-open safely?