When we closed in mid-March, we never could have imagined the journey that our Museum would undertake as we worked towards reopening our doors. Since March, we have reviewed every aspect of our Museum’s operations. We updated our cleaning methodologies, created new ticketing and admission procedures, examined every exhibit to determine how children could engage in a low-touch way, created social distancing signage and crowd control protocols, invested in touchless soap dispensers and hand sanitizing stations, and developed an employee training program on our new procedures which were reflective of CDC guidelines and city and state mandates.
The only variable completely out of our control is COVID-19 and its impact on public health and the economy. We recently learned that the School District of Philadelphia, along with many other school districts, are transitioning to all-virtual learning through the fall based on overwhelming feedback from parents and educators. We have also witnessed the reluctance of the public to reengage in public spaces that have reopened locally and across the country. After careful reflection, we have determined that reopening Please Touch Museum at this time presents a significant public health risk as well as a financial one.
The Museum’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a pause on playing together, extending Please Touch Museum’s temporary closure into 2021. This does not mean we will not reopen. On the contrary. We have several exciting announcements to share with you in the coming weeks and months ahead regarding our beloved exhibits and Museum experiences. And we will be working tirelessly behind the scenes to redefine the future PTM experience for members and young families navigating a post-pandemic world.
During the extended closure, we will continue to freeze all current memberships as of March 2020 with no time lost. There is nothing our members need to do; we will handle this service for you and will reactive all memberships upon our reopening in 2021. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
As stewards of PTM’s mission and our home in historic Memorial Hall, the decision to extend our closure was agonizing. We recognize this news will be met with wide-ranging reactions. Please know, that over our 40+ year history, the Museum has been dedicated to creating meaningful learning experiences for young families and we are steadfast in our commitment to meeting again and rediscovering the power of learning through play together.
Until then, stay safe, be well, and stay tuned for upcoming news from Please Touch Museum.
Yours in Play,
Patricia D. Wellenbach
President & CEO
Please Touch Museum