True West|September 2020
This year has been anything but routine for museums across the West. As the United States dealt with a global pandemic and businesses shut down—either voluntarily or by government order—museums found themselves shuttered as well. The staffs of many museums used the time while their doors were not open to begin planning new exhibits or ramp up their social media and online outreach to keep their institutions active. Many developed programs they shared through digital media by posting videos, descriptions and photographs of their collections, insider stories and more.
To say 2020 has been a challenging year for museums is a big-time understatement. As summer arrived, museums started reopening. While many of their annual events were either scaled back considerably or cancelled outright, the museums continued their important role as caretakers of the cultural history of the West. We encourage our readers to plan a trip and visit a museum just as soon as they feel comfortable traveling. In the meantime, check out museums’ websites to gain background on and understand their collections. Oh, and we’d also encourage you to make a donation to a museum, even if you cannot visit this year. That will help them keep the doors open for the future.
1 National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK
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