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Charleston Museum reopens, secures bridge grant

Staff //June 3, 2020//

Charleston Museum reopens, secures bridge grant

Staff //June 3, 2020//

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Charleston Museum staff members are wearing face shields or masks when working near visitors, the museum said. Some hands-on areas of the museum are temporarily closed, and other measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of staff members and visitors. (Photo/Provided)

The Charleston Museum has reopened with two new exhibits, as well as hourly tours of the Joseph Manigault House, which began Monday. The Heyward-Washington House is set to reopen June 15.

The museum recently received a bridge grant of $11,000 from the S.C. Humanities, which is supported, in part, by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Museum Executive Director Carl Borick said the money will be used to support the museum’s curatorial and education department staffing after several weeks of closure during the coronavirus lockdown.

“The museum was closed for over two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and we are anticipating a sizable budget deficit this year as a result of a significant loss in admissions revenue,” Borick said.

He added that March and April are when the museum typically sees the most visitors, but the museum was closed for all of April and nearly half of the previous month.

“There is also still a great deal of uncertainty as to the volume of visitation levels this summer,” Borick said. “Consequently, the grant provided by S.C. Humanities and other donations definitely help.”

Liza Holian, public relations and events coordinator for the museum, said the museum and the two historic houses under it have taken great care to ensure the safety and health of staff and visitors.

The historic homes operated by the museum are taking more time between tours to give staff members time to sanitize public areas. The museum has posted a detailed list of guidelines and safety precautions they are asking visitors to observe when visiting the museum.