TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The COVID-19 Pandemic took a toll on numerous businesses in our area including museums.
Museums were hit particularly hard due to the fact that they solely rely on face-to-face interactions. However, COVID-19 cases remains low in the Wabash Valley and many areas throughout the country, and museum directors believe that they’re turning the corner.
Terre Haute Children’s Museum Executive Director Susan Turner said that had about 600 people visited the museum one day last week. These are numbers that have not been reached since before the beginning of the pandemic.
“I will say that over the last six to eight weeks it has been crazy busy,” Turner said. “It’s fun to sit in my office and hear all the laughter happening outside.”
As COVID-19 restrictions in schools continue to ease, more school corporations are planning more school fields trips. CANDLES Holocaust Museum Executive Director Troy Fears said that school trips were vitally missed during the middle of the pandemic.
“There are so many teachers and students out there who are wanting to get out of the classroom and taking field trips again,” Fears explained.
Fears stated that the pandemic did have a big effect on CANDLES. He explained that many who visit the museum are not usually from Terre Haute meaning that travel restrictions and hesitancy played a role over the course of the pandemic.
The Swope Art Museum was affected by the pandemic, but in a different way than many others in the area. Swope provides free admission, therefore a lack of visitors, did not mean a lack of revenue. Swope must generate 50% of its revenue from fundraiser which was nearly impossible during the pandemic.
“It really affected our ability to raise money,” Swope Executive Director Fred Nation said. “We have fundraising events that we couldn’t have for two years.”
However, Nation explained that more events are being scheduled in the future including an invitation to the museum for all 5th graders in Vigo County in May.