Everyone in the museum business over the past year has had unprecedented struggles in keeping their doors open and their visitors safe. Fundraising events and activities were cancelled. Speakers and lectures, art shows and special exhibits were all put on hold for at least a year. Many museums throughout the county and, indeed, the world have had to close their doors permanently because of the restrictions placed upon them due to Covid 19. Some museums in high-risk areas are still closed.
Add to that the fact that a vast majority of people are not ready to participate in indoor activities and you have what we called “the perfect storm” of no visitors and no income. And in the case of the Garibaldi Museum, our staff was reduced to two, making things even harder.
But we persevered and opened the Museum on weekends during the summer when we were permitted to do so, and spent a great deal of time sanitizing the common areas of the museum after each group of people left. We held our admissions to only ten people at a time, required masks, took temperatures, and established contact tracing protocols. Yes, we had a dramatic reduction in admissions, but we worked hard to make sure our guests felt safe and enjoyed their visit.
Most importantly, our Board of Directors spent a great deal of time hiring two new staff members: a new Executive Director and a Gift Shop Manager. Candidates from all over the country were interviewed via Zoom and in December, Serena Fanning came on board as Director and Duncan Maher as Gift Shop Manager.
The Garibaldi Museum is starting a new chapter in our story with new ideas from both Serena and Duncan, as well as the ability to be open five days a week instead of only weekends. We also will be open year-round going forward.
The Museum currently has a new exhibit by local artist Diane Colcord called “Crocheted Reef, the Oregon Way.” This very colorful and creative interpretation of a coral reef will delight and amuse visitors of all ages. Diane explains her work as being “at once figurative, fantastical, worldly and dispersed, the Crochet Coral Reef offers a beautiful impassioned response to dual calamities devastating marine life: climate change and plastic trash."
The Garibaldi Museum will welcome visitors as long as we are able to do so under the regulations imposed by the state. And we are still maintaining Covid masking, distancing, contact tracing and sanitizing. Stop by between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Thursdays through Mondays and meet Serena and Duncan