DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After being closed since mid – March to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Dayton Art Institute is reopening to the public this weekend.
Director and CEO of the Art Institute, Michael Roediger, said since the museum’s closing, staff has been working to create a safe environment for when community members return.
“We have new signage, and sanitation stations and everyone’s required to wear a mask. We opened last week to members on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and this coming Friday we open to the general public and we’ll begin being open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday for the next few weeks.”
Roediger said, even though work has been done to prepare for utilization of the space, the building has been relatively empty for the last few months, with part-time workers furloughed, and full-time employees working from home. He said the museum took those measures to keep everyone safe, but adds, the organization has seen its programming and finances impacted as result.
“We’ve certainly had a difficult time as we’ve had to cancel fundraisers and programs that we’re bringing online. So we’ve had to learn how to do a lot of things quickly. Those fundraisers – we’re anticipating a loss this year of about $1 million, so we’re hoping that folks come to the museum.”
To give the public an idea of what they can expect when they return, Roediger let 2 NEWS take a tour of the museum ahead of the reopening. He explained, the institute is undergoing a series of renovations and updates to make exhibits more functional and attractive. Some of these include the addition of modern lighting, updated labeling systems that will preserve the condition of museum walls, and a revamped, secure balcony that overlooks the city. When it comes to the exhibits, Roediger said collections of American, African, Asian, antiquity and European art offers something for everyone. But he said there’s one special exhibit community members should see before it goes away.
“Right after we had to close, we had just opened an exhibition called ‘Samarai, Ghosts, and Levers: Yoshi Toshi’s Complete 100 Aspects of the Moon.’ It was going to shut down in the middle of the summer, so we have extended that exhibition and our summer exhibition will move to another season. So we’ve gotten great feedback about that and we hope people will come and see it.”
Roediger said anyone can support the museum by shopping at the online store, purchasing memberships, or by simply visiting. To learn more, visit daytonartinstitute.org.
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