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MAKING WAVES: Why Art Museums are Among the Safest Places to Return

April 17, 2020 | Allyson Hitte | Press Room, Press Room/Blog

This week, Governor Newsom rolled out his plan for how and when California would begin to open back up after the state-wide shelter in place order that has been in effect for nearly a month now. Here at MMA, we’ve also been thinking about how and when we can safely welcome back our community in this new normal we now face.

81% of the population believe that the arts are a positive experience in a troubled world.  They provide a haven from stress and an outlet for thoughts and fears that cannot be expressed by words alone. With the widespread fear and isolation caused by a global pandemic, a return to art museums will offer people who have experienced weeks of isolation a safe place to go. The very nature of an art museum experience allows for the maintaining of proper social distancing between patrons, and the ability to fully engage with culture on an intellectual level – but not a physical one.

As often the largest art organization in a community, art museums are also a key driver of the creative economy.  Annually, the arts make up a larger share of the nation’s economy that transportation, tourism, or agriculture.  The non-profit arts industry alone generates $166.3 billion in economic activity – supporting 4.6 million jobs and producing $27.5 billion in government revenue. The ability to safely open art museums would begin the flow of money back into the creative economy, signaling the start of a return to normalcy.

Museums offer their communities a sense of discovery and belonging.  With the need for these values more pressing than ever, MMA is working hard to fill those voids digitally, but we anxiously await the day when we can safely welcome our community back to our galleries in person.


Source: Americans for the Arts: 10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2020