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City eyes September for museum opening

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It’s not official, but the city has an eye on at least a partial reopening of the Roswell Museum and Art Center in September.

RMAC Executive Director Caroline Brooks offered information on possible reopening plans during Monday’s virtual meeting of the RMAC Board of Trustees. The museum, which closed with other city facilities on March 18 due to the pandemic, might follow the example of the Spring River Zoo, which last month started offering private group tours by appointment three days a week.

“We might start with that some time in September, if everything’s good with the state on us taking those actions,” Brooks said.

City Manager Joe Neeb is working with the staff on the plans.

“We might open the museum for guided tours or for them to walk around a certain exhibit, but basically the city manager is looking to how can we provide service at this time,” Brooks said.

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That includes added signage at the museum and what personal protective equipment would be needed for the staff.

The museum is looking into a virtual exhibit with the Roswell Artist in Residence Program prior to a September opening.

“Those will be concluded we believe Aug. 15, so we’re in discussion with the artist in residence program on what a virtual opening would look like with a lecture and such,” Brooks said.

The staff has been providing some virtual programming though Facebook and Instagram, Brooks said, and the number of followers on those platforms has grown. Wendy Cook, public programs manager, has been devising the virtual programming that includes videos of “Kids Craft Corner,” “Museum Moments” with Curator Aubrey Hobart and “Science is Awesome” with Planetarium Coordinator Jeremy Howe.

The museum’s yoga class might move online soon, Brooks said.

“We were doing two sessions per month. They were very, very popular. We are looking to bring those in the next few weeks, maybe next week,” she said.

The yoga videos would likely be short sessions that people can do with little space, such as in the office, she said.

A membership campaign is also in the works, Brooks said. The museum has 360 current active memberships, down from 411 prior to the closure. However, three new memberships and 18 renewals were reported in June, and for the year so far, the museum has had 18 new members and 110 renewals.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.