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University Museum Will Reopen to Public Wednesday


JONESBORO – Arkansas State University Museum will reopen to the public Wednesday, Aug. 19. On the advice of public health officials, the Museum has established new, temporary hours of services and developed pandemic-appropriate activities.

A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities NEH CARES: Cultural Organizations program has been crucial to the Museum’s ability to reopen to the public. This funding has enabled the Museum to more than double its corps of gallery staff and thereby provide closer proctorship of activities and conduct interval cleaning protocols.

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act was passed by Congress to help offset the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among the provisions for safety in ASU Museum is limited access — notably, just one entrance and reduced capacity. For the remainder of the pandemic, visitors may enter only through the second floor foyer of Dean B. Ellis Library. A maximum of 50 visitors will be allowed at one time, and the number of people in a group may not exceed 10 people. Larger parties can call to reserve in advance, but these parties will, upon arrival, be divided into groups of 10 or fewer people.

Large school and fieldtrip-sized tours cannot be accommodated during the pandemic. In consideration of people who may be waiting in line to enter the Museum, visitors will be asked to complete their visit within one hour.

Visitors aged 10 and up must wear face-coverings throughout their stay on museum premises. This requirement follows the mandate of Gov. Asa Hutchinson and A-State’s own “Mask-Up” directive. Children under 10 are not required to wear a mask, but they may choose to decorate and wear a complimentary paper mask and a special “pandemic-spacing” cap that is both educational and fun to wear.

“Despite these new, temporary restrictions, museum visitors will thoroughly enjoy a whole new slate of pandemic-adapted, TinkerFaire-style activities,” said Dr. Marti L. Allen, museum director. “We aim to maintain a solid level of cultural and history-based science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) learning activities despite the pandemic. People will still have fun learning at ASU Museum.”

The Museum’s pandemic hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., with closure Sunday, Monday, and university holidays.  The Gift Shop will be open by request.

A full list of pandemic information is available on the Museum’s website. Follow the Museum on Facebook for on-line activities, story times, and glimpses of fun in the galleries. Admission is free.

The Museum is located at 320 University Loop Circle. One may contact Jill Kary or Michelle Friend at (870) 972-2074 or museum@AState.edu with questions or to make a reservation for groups exceeding 10 people.

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