Mystic Seaport Museum Aims For Phased-In Reopening Starting Memorial Day Weekend | Connecticut Public Radio
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Mystic Seaport Museum Aims For Phased-In Reopening Starting Memorial Day Weekend

May 7, 2020

Gov. Ned Lamont’s strategy to open certain businesses on May 20 is welcome news to the Mystic Seaport Museum.

The maritime museum closed its doors March 13, and made the tough decision to layoff  most of its staff on April 1st. But at Thursday’s coronavirus briefing, Lamont listed outdoor museums as being the first type of business that could reopen on May 20.

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Steve White, president and CEO of Mystic Seaport Museum, said if everything goes according to plan, the museum will be ready soon after May 20 -- with some modifications.

“On May 23, for the first seven days, we’d be open to the public for free,” said White. “And only the outdoor portions of the museum. Not a single building would be open other than restrooms and they would be monitored to provide safety and cleanliness. But this is just an outdoor experience, completely free and open to the public just to give people a safe opportunity to be outdoors.”

White said the museum will offer activities early on that are centered on the outdoor portion of the museum, like kite flying.

“As we try to reimagine ourselves in the post-virus climate, this is a great opportunity for us to return to our roots as an outdoor history museum,” said White.

He said the museum has a three-phase plan to roll out more and more of its services through the summer, with the ultimate goal of being fully operational by its annual Wooden Boat Show in August.

“This phased approach gives us a chance to gauge the public interest and gives us a chance to learn how to reimagine the use of our 17-acre campus.”

The museum’s art exhibits and popular day camps would start in July under the plan. White says his staff is putting the finishing touches on their reopening plan, which will be submitted to the governor’s office for approval.