September 11, 2020 / News & Blog

Hand to Hand: COVID-19: Stories from the Field

The latest issue of Hand to Hand, “COVID-19: Stories from the Field” is now available! You can read individual articles here on the ACM blog. ACM members can also find the full issue PDF in the Hand to Hand Community on ACM Groupsite.

With articles written primarily in June and July of this year, this issue of Hand to Hand captures a critical moment in time as the children’s museum field began adjusting to a post-COVID reality. It shares perspectives from all levels of children’s museum staff as well as museums of all sizes and emerging museums. Read “COVID-19: Stories from the Field.”

Read the issue!

COVID-19: Stories from the Field

Children’s Museums Surviving the Pandemic: Insights from Three Leaders
Interviewer: Peter Olson, Region 5 Children’s Museum
Peter Olson interviewed Stephanie Hill Wilchfort of Brooklyn Children’s Museum, Tanya Durand of Greentrike, and Tammie Kahn of Children’s Museum Houston, about their museums’ strategies for surviving closure, preparing to reopen, and reimagining missions and adapted operations.

After I Hung Up…
What are your thoughts after the Zoom call ends and the virtual hangout disperses? Read short reflections on the first few months of the pandemic from Suzanne LeBlanc, Long Island Children’s Museum; Traci Buckner, Akron Children’s Museum; Sunnee O’Rork, i.d.e.a. Museum; Carol Scott, Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert; Charlie Walter, Mayborn Museum Complex; Roxane Hill, Wonderscope Children’s Museum; Deb Gilpin, Madison Children’s Museum; Beth Ann Balalaos, Long Island Children’s Museum; and Hannah Hausman, Santa Fe Children’s Museum.

Nothing Yet to Close: Emerging Museums Pause and Regroup
Tres Ross, Children’s Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley; Audie Dennis, Creative Learning Alliance; Corrie Holloway, Glacier Children’s Museum; Dr. Kirsti Abbott, The University of New England Boilerhouse Discovery Space; Michael Shanklin, kidSTREAM, Ventura County’s Children’s Museum
Leaders from five emerging museums discuss how their organizations are responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, from altering timelines and fundraising sources, to planning with new best practices in mind.

Building Relationships through a Pandemic
Alix Tonsgard and Laura Diaz, DuPage Children’s Museum
DuPage Children’s Museum staff share how they adapted their Partners in Play program serving caregivers with young children in the wake of COVID-19. While originally planned as a series of monthly in-person sessions at the museum, the program pivoted to physically-distanced support, using texting as an accessible entry point.

The National Struggle with Unknowingness: Thoughts from a Facilities Director on Reopening
Luke Schultz, Madison Children’s Museum
The facilities director of Madison Children’s Museum shares insights into the museum’s decision to not yet pursue reopening, with a focus on practices related to the physical plants, operations, and facilities side of museums.

Working from Home for a Museum with No Visitors: Front-Line Staff Stories
Mary Maher, Hand to Hand
This piece shares the perspective of front-line and visitor-facing staff at DISCOVERY Children’s Museum in Las Vegas, NV, after the museum closed its doors to visitors.