Like many of you, I find myself working from home during this unprecedented health crisis. Our institutions are shuttered and our office doors remain closed. All is not lost however, our sector is famous for finding creative, innovative and transformational ways to engage with the public. So, instead of feeling isolated and removed from our constituents, perhaps we can embrace this new reality, and work towards creating pathways that provide access to our programs, services, and collections in new and pioneering ways. What an amazing opportunity to build collaborative inter-organizational partnerships that showcase our ability to work together and demonstrate the important role we play in building healthy, responsive and engaged communities.
I know we are confronting an uncertain future, but think for a moment how much knowledge and information has been gained about the novel coronavirus in just the past few weeks and months. Technology has enabled the sharing of this information in ways previous generations likely could not fathom. As a sector we could embrace the amazing power technology represents and take this opportunity to connect with one another, learn how each of our institutions is facing these challenging times, and remain committed to emerge from this experience with a renewed sense of possibility and appreciation for our ingenuity.
Wishing you all good health,
During this extremely challenging time, the BC Museums Association is working diligently to support its members and the province’s cultural sector. Here are some of the projects the BCMA is working on:
Share your digital projects and initiatives with British Columbians on CultureOnline.ca – a directory of the innovative online work that the culture and heritage sector is doing during the COVID-19 shutdown. Whether your organization is offering live streams, social media contests, special podcasts, or promoting existing online resources, please share your online work with us and we will add it to CultureOnline.ca. Working with partners across BC’s culture and GLAM sector, we will begin promoting CultureOnline.ca to the media and through social media as a one-stop destination to digitally access our province’s amazing culture, heritage, and art. Watch out for an email with instructions on how to submit events and activities to CultureOnline.ca and make sure to promote your activities on social media using the hashtag #culturedoesntstop.
On March 30 from 12-1 pm (PDT) join digital educator Jenny Arnold for a free webinar exploring tips, tools, and technology for live streaming your site. From virtual classroom tours, to finding new ways to engage your community, this webinar and accompanying blog post will offer easy, affordable ideas for creating successful live streams. Visit our website to register. Note: This webinar will be free for anyone who wishes to join, you do not need to be a BCMA member. Bring a friend. Or two.
Just because we are socially distancing ourselves, doesn’t mean we have to be socially isolated. Each Wednesday we invite you to join the BCMA community for an informal online group chat. Gather around the digital watercooler to catch up, chat, ask questions and seek advice. Our first Watercooler Wednesday is March 25, but if you can’t make it, we’ll be gathering around the digital watercooler every Wednesday – tell a friend!
In partnership with Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance and BC Alliance for Arts + Culture, the BCMA is working to help quantify the impact that COVID-19 is having on the province’s arts, culture, and heritage sector. Help us by completing this survey – data from this survey will be essential in helping government better understand the economic and social impact of COVID-19 on our sector. Take the survey today.
Museums, galleries, and cultural organizations across the province are currently dealing with a host of challenges stemming from the COVID-19 outbreak. The BCMA has prepared a list of resources and links that explore best practices, innovative ideas, and administrative support for cultural organizations as they cope with prolonged closures and remote work.
The BCMA is working closely with partners on provincial and national levels to keep government informed of the impact COVID-19 is having on our sector and to advocate for the necessary support to ensure that we can continue to protect and promote BC’s arts, culture, and heritage now and into the future. We are collecting data about the impact of COVID-19 through our joint economic impact survey, but stories are often the best way to convey the gravity of a situation. If you would like to share your story of how COVID-19 has impacted your organization, please contact Ryan Hunt, the BCMA’s Executive Director – we are here to support you.