Six out of 10 museums now fear for their survival – but there have been surprising positives

The budget lifeline is welcome. But, as museums endure their worst crisis since the war, they have still been at the forefront of Covid support, with hard-hitting shows, doorstep storytelling and using this chance to rethink their roles

By Sharon Heal, director of the Museums Association

“Just as museums made the best of a bad situation during the war, there have been some surprising positives among the many difficulties of the Covid crisis. In particular, I have been struck by the way museums have been at the forefront of supporting local communities with education, entertainment and practical help during lockdowns. From interactive online sessions, to festivals, podcasts and gaming, museums have engaged, innovated and entertained.

They have also recognised that not every family has digital access: the Seven Stories National Centre for Children’s Books (winner of the Museums Change Lives award) has delivered hundreds of meals and books, as well as reading doorstep stories with its local community in Byker. Recently, some museums have even become vaccination centres, such as the Thackray Museum of Medicine in Leeds. Museums are also continuing much of their normal work on collections – including gathering objects and stories concerning the Covid crisis so that current and future generations will be able to understand and learn from this time.”

Source: The Guardian News & Media