I hope this finds you healthy and happy in the safety of your home. Since Governor Larry Hogan announced Maryland’s entry into Phase 1 of the Maryland Strong Roadmap to Recovery, I’ve received several questions about when the Ward Museum will reopen, and what our plans are for upcoming events. Unfortunately, a lot is still unknown; but we are working hard behind the scenes, planning and preparing for when we can open, while being mindful of the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers, and staff.
Though art galleries are among the businesses able to open during Phase 1 in Maryland, entertainment and amusement locations are not. We do have art galleries, but the Ward Museum is not a retail establishment only, and we do not feel it is safe to open to the general public at this time. Additionally, the Ward Museum building and grounds are an extension of Salisbury University, which remains closed for the time being, to help keep our community safer, and to allow us all to prepare for welcoming the public with the strongest possible procedures and practices in place.
I assure you we are hard at work to make sure we’re cleaning appropriately, that we have masks for staff and hand sanitizer stations for staff and visitors, that we have solid plans for limited and one-way traffic through the galleries, and many other precautions in place. We’re creating guidelines for phased reopening to visitors, and we can’t wait for the opportunity to again open our doors.
In the meantime, we’re coming up with new virtual experiences to keep our communities connected. You’ll soon receive another email from us with details on our 10th annual Art in Nature Photo Festival, which will be entirely online July 10-12 with new categories and exciting judges. We’re also working to bring back the Delmarvalous Festival and Chesapeake Challenge on August 8 as a virtual experience, and even to hold our Fall Migration Gala in the virtual world if necessary. This is in addition to online gallery tours, lessons for families with small children, insight into some of your favorite artists’ lives, and “behind the bird” looks at some of your favorite pieces in the museum—online at www.wardmuseum.org or on Facebook and Instagram @WardMuseum. We also hope you’ll be willing to take part in a new research project, documenting how folks are keeping their communities together, and traditions alive, during the pandemic (see below).
Unfortunately, we don’t have solid dates for reopening, nor for new exhibit receptions and future events. We are anxious to get back to where these are possible – but we must be mindful of the health and safety of all involved in Ward Museum programming.
I thank you, genuinely, for all of your support and patience at this time. We very much look forward to when we can again be together to celebrate art, nature, and tradition here on the Eastern Shore. Please stay safe and take care.
NEW Research Project at the Ward Museum – Lower Shore Traditions: Apart But Not Alone
What are the traditions you’ve carried on, or learned, during the pandemic? How are you staying connected to your community?
Despite distance between friends and families, many folks in Delmarva are continuing their communities’ traditions these days in novel ways. The Ward Museum would love to hear your story, or see what you’re up to—whether it’s teaching your kids to fish as part of at-home schooling, growing your own food in a backyard garden, trying your hand at artisan baking, finding new ways to participate in religious celebrations, socializing in virtual knitting circles, or anything else rooted in artistic and other cultural traditions.
If you would like to share your story or photos, if you’re willing to sit for an interview via a video conferencing system such as Zoom, or if you’d just like more info, we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to us by responding to this email, reaching out to Curator & Folklorist Dom Tartaglia at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling us at 410-742-4988 ext. 119. We’ll soon have more information online at www.wardmuseum.org as well.
Your story, photo, and/or interview will become part of a special collection in the Museum’s Lower Shore Traditions archive, and possibly part of a future exhibit. Lower Shore Traditions is the folklife program of the Ward Museum—researching and interpreting the living cultural heritage of the Eastern Shore. The Ward Museum is also a Regional Folklife Center in the Maryland Folklife Network, Maryland State Arts Council – identifying, documenting, supporting, and presenting community-based living cultural traditions.
Recognizing that the museum facility is currently inaccessible to its members, the Ward Foundation has decided to extend Ward Museum memberships! All Ward Museum members who were current as of April 1, 2020, have automatically had six months added to their membership, for a total of 18 months.
Additionally, anyone who signs up for membership while the Ward Museum is still closed to the public will receive an 18-month membership for the price of 12 months. This includes lapsed and new members, but also existing members who want to take advantage of this deal—and renew their membership now, regardless of when it is up for renewal.
In other words, this is a great time to renew your membership, or sign up as a new member!
We so appreciate our Ward Museum members, and can’t wait to see you in person soon. But until that time, we hope that this will help our friends take advantage of mailings such as the Ward Museum journal, discounts to classes and events (in person and online), and of course admission to the Ward Museum galleries in the future.
Reach out to Membership & Gift Coordinator Sarah Maciarello at email@example.com or 410-724-4988 ext. 105 with any questions. Thank you for your support, and for being part of our extended Ward Museum community!