Four museums are collaborating on a new campaign to bring the community back.
“It’s been so lonely without you here,” are memorable words by Prince from the single “Nothing Compares 2 U” he wrote, which are being echoed in a new initiative to bring visitors back into Minneapolis museums.
The campaign, InspireMSP, features four Minneapolis arts institutions that are celebrating their reopenings: the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Paisley Park, Walker Art Center and Weisman Art Museum. Each combined a notable piece to create a mosaic effect and a reminder that art is best experienced in person.
The campaign comes after a difficult summer for many Minneapolis institutions, following budget and staff cuts across several of the city’s most notable. Mia has cut $4 million from its 2021 operating budget, laid off 22 employees, 17 employees took voluntary leave packages, and salary cuts have been implemented for the museum’s leadership team.
The Walker Art Center has projected a $5.7 million drop in their revenue for this year, laid off 18 part-time employees, and reduced salaries across their leadership as well. Other institutions have faced similar challenges, including the Minnesota Historical Society and the Science Museum of Minnesota. In July, the Star Tribune reported that both organizations laid off at least 150 employees, respectively.
Months of closures and limited openings have taken a toll on many Minneapolis organizations and InspireMSP is an example of collective efforts to breathe life back into the community and inspire through visiting the collections each museum possesses.
While visitation may be limited, the four institutions involved encourage members of the community to use art as a method of healing. The partnership combines resources between the organizations to maintain safe openings and keep their patrons healthy.
While increasing janitorial services, Mia is requiring six-foot social distancing and offering free timed tickets online in order to reduce crowd sizes. The Walker’s modified protocols include required masks for all visitors over the age of 2 and also has a timed online reservation system. Paisley Park is implementing a health screening questionnaire for all visitors, and requires tickets to be purchased in advance. The Weisman Art Museum will open on October 1 with reduced hours of operation, limited visitor capacity, and will require face coverings for all visitors over the age of 2 as well.
“Working collaboratively is the best way to let our community know we are all excited to safely welcome visitors back,” says Mary Ceruti, executive director of the Walker in a press release. Other organizations are invited to join the collective.