After being closed for more than a year due to the COVID-19 shutdown, MOXI has reopened to its members and the public.
Currently operating at around 30 percent capacity, well below the orange tier allowance, the museum is ramping up its offerings slowly to ensure visitor comfort and safety.
MOXI has also implemented reduced hours, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday and encourages guests to pre-purchase their tickets online, where they can also select a time slot reservation for their visit.
Social-distancing guidelines lend themselves well to the museum’s open layout, representatives said, and has allowed many activities to resume. Exhibits feature increased turn-taking and sanitizing but remain interactive. Staff members, each equipped with a pack of Clorox wipes, are on site to guide and help.
Within the first four days of its reopening, MOXI had more than 800 visitors. Feedback regarding guest satisfaction with the museum as well as its implementation of CDC guidelines has been overwhelmingly positive, said CEO Robin Gose. And seeing the museum filled with visitors again “looks and feels really good,” she said.
The onset of the pandemic was emotionally and fiscally difficult, Gose said. Funding from ticket sales and private events, the museum’s main sources of revenue, immediately stopped when lockdown started.
Just last summer, the American Alliance of Museums reported that one-third of museums were at risk for permanent closure. “Luckily, that was not our reality,” said Gose.
For MOXI, enduring the bumps and bruises of the pandemic was made possible through a combination of staff resilience and community support.
“Our supporters really stepped up,” said Gose. Their contributions are a testament to how important a place like MOXI is for the community, she said. Gose also praised the museum staff, who she said embraced the circumstances of the pandemic with flexibility and empathy.
Throughout the pandemic, MOXI was able to stay engaged with the community through interactive challenges and virtual design labs. Participants were able to enter their submissions through a curbside drop off and can now see them on display at the museum. MOXI also prioritized supporting schools amidst the pandemic, and offered virtual field trips for students that were led by museum education staff. While MOXI will continue to have online opportunities for students, the museum is especially excited to welcome them back in person.
“After a year of Zoom, MOXI offers a place for kids to just be kids without being plugged in,” said Gose.