Behringer-Crawford Copes with COVID-19 Crisis with Creativity and Optimism
COVINGTON, KY – The young children who come to Behringer-Crawford Museum for the monthly Tot Tuesdays! and Chippie’s Sensational Science Labs don’t know what COVID-19 is. All they know is that there are no fun crafts, amazing experiments or story times with Miss Sandy at the museum.
The cancellation of all BCM youth education programs is just one result of the coronavirus crisis which has closed the museum. No school trips, no Brown Bag luncheons with guest speakers, no guided tours for special needs students. The “From Rituals to Runways: The Art of the Bead” exhibit, which opened to much media fanfare in February, is only available through images or video. The Sonny & Cher karaoke contest is called off. The annual Two-Headed Calf Awards honoring community leaders has been indefinitely postponed.
The financial impact of the cancellation is significant. Without revenue from admissions and events, the museum is relying on existing grants and donations from individuals to pay the bills.
But that’s not stopping the BCM staff, who quickly shifted into home office mode. They began brainstorming ways to continue the museum’s programming remotely, with video versions of lessons on Kentucky’s land formations, Ice Age animals and prehistory Indian tribes, among others. A 3-D virtual tour on the museum’s website, www.bcmuseum.org, allows visitors to stroll through BCM’s galleries and exhibits without ever leaving home.
We are posting Curator’s Chats, behind-the-scenes glimpses into Northern Kentucky history, on Facebook and our website. Work is underway to present digital versions of children’s programming as well.
We are also looking ahead to when the crisis is over and we can leave our homes to visit BCM in person. We’re planning the museum’s 70th anniversary celebration in July. We’ve got great bands lined up for this summer’s Music@BCM concert series. And artists are already signing up for the 28th annual freshART gala and auction in September.
So yes, COVID-19 threw a monkey wrench into our schedule. But BCM continues to serve the community in new ways. And we are all looking forward to getting back to our hands-on, face-to-face way of life soon.