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San Antonio Museums Reopen, Adapt To New Normal In The COVID Age

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John Schulze
A dinosaur statue outside of The Witte Museum wears a face mask.

The coronavirus threat forced museums to close their doors in March, costing a collective $33 million every day in lost revenue from admission, gift shop sales and event rentals while under protective shutdowns. 

In Texas, museums were among the first set of non-essential businesses allowed to reopen with certain restrictions including a 25% visitor capacity limit and the continued closure of interactive exhibits.

How are area museums adjusting to prioritize public health and safety as the viral threat persists? How will the pandemic change the way we interact with museums? Are hands-on exhibits a thing of the past?

How will museums account for lost revenue? Will projects and programming be sacrificed? Will ticket prices go up? Will donors step up? Will smaller museums survive the financial hit?

How are museums planning to tell the story of COVID-19, moving forward? How will this historic event be reflected in future galleries and exhibits?

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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, May 28.

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Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.