Page 6 - BusinessWest July 20, 2020
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6 JULY 20, 2020 COVID-19 BusinessWest
Finding Meaning
After Four Challenging Months, Museums Reopen to a Different World
and translating across borders, how people interact, and the meaning behind words. It was hung at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in March, a few days before the museum closed due to COVID-19 — and there it has hung, dormant, ever since.
“The curator of that exhibit recently changed the introductory text to note that the questions the exhibit asks feel even
By Joseph Bednar
 more urgent now than they did three or four months ago when the exhibit was originally sched- uled to open,” said Jodi Joseph, the museum’s director of Communications.
of regulars from Boston the week museums were allowed to reopen to the public.
“Heading out, the mom in the group said, ‘oh, gosh, it has so much more mean- ing now,’” Joseph told BusinessWest. “That’s truly contemporary art. It reflects our time and what we’re going through.”
What museums have been going through is nothing to celebrate. Shutting down for almost four months is a financial strain for any cultural attraction, no matter how large or small.
“For many smaller museums, the finan- cial impact has really been catastrophic,” said Kay Simpson, president of the Spring- field Museums, adding that her organiza- tion was fortunate to receive not only a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, but generous contributions from a private donor and a foundation to help get through the past four months.
“It was an agonizing decision to shut down. At the beginning, we thought it would be for three weeks, and we’d be able
“It was really hard. It has just been an experience like no other.
issing Through
a Curtain” is an exhibit of 10 con- temporary art- ists, dealing with communicating
Visitors have agreed, she added, citing a conversation she had with a family
   Kay Simpson says the top priority before reopening Springfield Museums was making sure both visitors and staff would be safe.

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