Postpone the Seasonal Opening of Strawbery Banke Museum

It is still early in the COVID-19 crisis and we cannot yet tell how lives and businesses will be affected as the economy takes the hit from the necessary Stay At Home orders.

But we wanted to let you know as soon as possible that the Board of Trustees and I have made the difficult decision to postpone the seasonal opening of Strawbery Banke Museum until July 1, 2020.

Aside from the “Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds at the Banke” event which we’ve had to cancel, the major visitation in the early part of the season in May and June comes primarily from two groups: school field trips and vacationers. With schools in New England closed for now, most field trips have been cancelled. We are still able to accommodate visits on a case-by-case basis if the schools reopen and want to schedule trips.

Recreational domestic travel is also being discouraged at the moment. But we are looking forward to answering the pent-up demand when we do open, with some new programming that focuses on outdoor activities and demonstrations that keep people at safe physical distance.

Senior staff continues to work remotely on new programs and exhibits, including “Water Has a Memory: Preserving Strawbery Banke and Portsmouth from Sea Level Rise,” with plans to implement these later in the summer.

Meanwhile, the museum has ramped up access to our collections, developing new content, virtual classroom activities and virtual tours to provide resources and leadership in the area of online-learning.

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