The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has dramatically changed the world around us and the Kalamazoo Valley Museum is no exception. Since the temporary closure of the museum in March 2020, staff has been working remotely providing innovative online programs including Star Talks, a museum interpretation podcast, a 360-degree virtual tour and exploration of the online collections database.
During the first soft opening phase beginning January 19, guests will be required to preregister for pre-determined visitation dates and times: Tuesdays and Thursdays for 90-minute visiting times from 10-11:30 a.m. for 10 guests per session. The sign up will be available at the Museum website at kalamazoomuseum.org.
Although much of the Museum will be closed to visitors during this phase of the reopening, visitors will have access to new “read and see” experiences. A “one way” pathway exploring first floor core exhibits including the extended run of “Filling the Gap: The Art of Murphy Darden” and “Science on Sphere.”
The second floor history exhibit, “Kalamazoo Direct to You,” has been modified with looping-video content, touchless buttons to launch some of the interactives and new QR code audio tours for many sections of the gallery.
There is also a new “sound sculpture” by artist Beth Bradfish, underwritten by Connecting Chords, that allows guests to manipulate wire-meshed screens and sounds for an auditory experience which blends arts and sciences. Other areas of the Museum will be closed for the now while other safety protocols are put into place.