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Maine Children's Museums form consortium, future is unsure

Jun 17, 2020
Gayle Bedigian, Board President, shows off some of the touch tank residents at the Coastal Children's Museum in Rockland. The museum is now temporarily closed due to Covid-19 concerns.

Rockland — This past week, a new union has been formed of all the Children's Museums in the Maine. The Coastal Children’s Museum in Rockland is now a member of the newly formed Children’s Museums of Maine Consortium.

Many of the directors of all of Maine’s Children's Museum met virtually to discuss the issues facing individual museums brought on by the current pandemic crisis. Besides the obvious question of when and if the Rockland museum will be able to open in the near future, the gathering brought forth ideas on how to open safely.

Each participant shared what their research showed on how to address the issue of transmission of the virus. Transmission of the virus is a large issue, since spaces and exhibits are designed to encourage children to touch and explore.

Besides the virus dilemma, the consortium discussed the other pressing issue brought on by the shut down, fiscal management, which is plaguing everyone. Funding for Museums are usually handled with admission fees, party fees, donations and grants. All museums are struggling with this issue, currently. There is no money coming in from admissions or parties, and many donors and grants are focused on funding more life saving issues. That leaves local museums on unsteady ground.

In the meantime, the Coastal Children's Museum in Rockland is working refurbishing exhibits and buildings.

For more information, contact Gayle Bedigian at coastalchildrensmuseum@gmail.com

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