MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee museums have jointly announced they will reopen in March. Discovery World, the Harley-Davidson Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, and the Milwaukee Public Museum will welcome visitors with proper health and safety protocols in place.
“We’re thrilled to have visitors back inside Discovery World and to offer our community the opportunity to once again explore Milwaukee’s amazing cultural institutions,” said Bryan Wunar, Discovery World president and CEO. “It’s time to open our doors so that we can continue fulfilling our missions of connecting families with fun and educational learning experiences.”
This is the first step of phased museum reopenings to the public, and City of Milwaukee health officials have approved safety plans for each institution. Reinforced protocols to support healthy and safe environments for visitors and staff include robust cleaning procedures, hand sanitizing stations and online ticketing to ensure social distancing and limiting of capacity levels. Staff and visitors will be required to wear face coverings at all times.
“Throughout this pandemic, the Milwaukee Art Museum has learned a great deal from other museums about how to reopen and safely welcome guests,” said Marcelle Polednik, Donna and Donald Baumgartner director, Milwaukee Art Museum. “This collaboration, more than at any other time, has been invaluable. Our coordinated reopening is one more way we can support each other and reflect the importance of Milwaukee’s cultural organizations in the community.”
Museums and cultural institutions play an important role in Milwaukee and across the country as community anchors, economic engines, and places for fun, learning and inspiration. Due to the closures caused by the pandemic, and the associated cancellation of special events, museums are facing large shortfalls in revenue. The American Alliance of Museums has reported that one-third of all institutions are at risk of permanent closure, making community and donor support vitally crucial as museums navigate the road to financial recovery.
“Milwaukee’s museums and cultural institutions are a major draw for visitors and locals year round, but their importance goes far beyond that,” said Peggy Williams-Smith, president and CEO, Visit Milwaukee. “They are the keepers of our community’s culture, history, and traditions, which is why the pandemic’s effects on their resources have been especially devastating. They need all of Milwaukee to step up and show their support today through donations, admission, and membership if we want to preserve the institutions that are vital to our identity as a city.”
“Our team has been eager to welcome our friends and neighbors – safely – back to our campus,” said Bill Davidson, vice president of the Harley-Davidson Museum. “With robust health and safety plans in place, we’re confident our guests can comfortably enjoy a visit to our new exhibit, “Off-Road Harley-Davidson,” a bite at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant or a visit to The Shop. Together, with our partners across the city, we have been diligently working to make sure we do our part to keep Milwaukee moving in the right direction.”
“Milwaukee is a city of museums, with visitors filling our galleries from all over Wisconsin, the U.S., and even the world,” said Dr. Ellen Censky, CEO and president, Milwaukee Public Museum. “Though we’ve all made successful forays into the virtual realm, being onsite is something that has been greatly missed. We’re extremely excited that we can partner together and reopen to give the community a variety of experiences to share safely in-person again.”
Beginning March 4, the Milwaukee Public Museum will be open Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with special Community of Curiosity programming on dinosaurs that can be accessed virtually before, during, or after a visit. There will be free general admission on 2021’s first Kohl’s Thank You Thursday, March 18.
Starting March 5, the world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum, including Motor Bar & Restaurant and The Shop, will be open Fridays through Sundays. The museum and shop will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. A new exhibit, “Off-Road Harley-Davidson,” will be unveiled on March 5. “Off-Road Harley-Davidson” tells the history of motorcycles designed for rough roads, the people who rode them and the adventures they shared.
Admission to the Milwaukee Art Museum will be free for all on March 5, thanks to Educators Credit Union. The museum will be open Fridays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with galleries on the main and lower levels accessible to the public. The exhibition Susan Meiselas: Through a Woman’s Lens will be on view in the Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts.
Beginning on March 27, Discovery World will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. The noon to 1 p.m. time slot will be reserved for deep cleaning. “Science + You,” a traveling exhibit designed to increase awareness and understanding of the role science and scientists play in the health and wellness of children and adults throughout the world, will be on display in the spring.
Discovery World is Milwaukee’s science and technology center. The 130,000-square foot facility is home to interactive exhibits, fresh and saltwater tanks in the Reiman Aquarium, and a multitude of educational programs.
The Milwaukee Art Museum is a private institution with more than 2,500 works on view within the museum’s collection galleries and three ever-changing exhibition spaces.
The Milwaukee Public Museum is operated by Milwaukee Public Museum Inc., a private, non-profit company, and its facilities and collections are held in trust and supported by Milwaukee County for the benefit of the public.