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State Of The Arts: After A Year Of Closures, LA’s Indoor Museums Can Finally Open Their Doors Again. How Do They Plan To Do So?




Visitors wearing face coverings view the Telsa Cybertruck at the recently reopened Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California, July 1, 2020.
Visitors wearing face coverings view the Telsa Cybertruck at the recently reopened Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California, July 1, 2020.
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

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When stay-at-home orders were issued last March in SoCal, few museums could imagine that their physical exhibitions would remain shut to visitors not just for weeks or months, but for an entire year.

Yet there is light at the end of the tunnel for these institutions. Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties have transitioned into the red tier, which means that museums can now open indoors at 25% capacity. Though in-person services remain limited, it’s a significant development for institutions wanting to reconnect with visitors as they grapple with long-term financial damage from the pandemic. But there are still challenges— some museums may have laid off or furloughed workers, or need to train new employees. And while elements of the museum experience cannot be re-created online, many museums have experimented with digital innovation in order to stay connected with audiences and may permanently instate some of those changes. 

Today on AirTalk, we are speaking with local museum leaders in Southern California as part of our week-long series about re-opening the arts. What museums are you excited to return to? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.

Guests:

John Echeveste, CEO of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, which is located downtown and is dedicated to exhibitions on Latino arts, history and culture in L.A.

Ann Burroughs, president and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo

Peter C. Keller, president of the Bowers Museum, which emphasizes cultural arts and is the largest museum in Orange County

Terry Karges, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum, located on Museum Row in Miracle Mile