COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation. Please know that your health and safety is our highest priority. To help minimize the potential spread of the coronavirus with our community, the museum will be closed until it is deemed safe to reopen. The museum has also canceled all public programming. We will continue to monitor the situation and follow the recommendations of the WHO, the CDC, The Virginia Department of Health, and the City of Virginia Beach.
As I am updating this information, Johns Hopkins reports the US has currently lost over 68,000 souls to the virus. At least 1,000 people with the virus, and sometimes more than 2,000, have died every day for the last month. Our thoughts and prayers continue for the dead and for their loved ones.
WHAT CLOSING MEANS TO THE MUSEUM
Not being able to open for the usually busy Spring season brings a heavy financial burden to our small nonprofit. Along with keeping our doors closed, not being able to have large gatherings means we have lost our chance to have our Spring Fundraising event. The cancellation of the Shamrock Marathon Weekend, the Something In The Water Festival, the Patriotic Fest, and more brings a financial body blow to our crucial seasonal income. As we look to slowly establish safe guidelines for reopening the museum, social distancing guidelines may also prevent us from sharing our Ghost Walk programming, and other planned party and rental programs. We’ve had to reduce staff and trim expenses to bare monthly minimums to work on getting through these long months. We’ve received some funding through the Small Business Administration’s PPP program, and are awaiting to see if we will receive funding from the City of Virginia Beach, as we have in past years.
It is urgent that the museum raises the funds to see us through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regardless of how difficult 2020 has become, we remain optimistic that we will continue to grow and develop this amazing historic icon’s mission and place in the community. We have already established new virtual tours and are working at expanding our online educational programming as well as growing our important work with our Oral History Project. Let’s work together to ensure the museum will be opening as soon as we can.
William Hazel – Executive Director