Iman Mekonen, Spectrum Editor
Several nearby art museums and VCU buildings have decided to close in response to COVID-19 in an effort to prevent transmission of the virus.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts closed on Sunday and won’t open again until March 28, meaning classes, programs and events have been canceled or postponed. This includes access to all galleries, special exhibitions and venues.
As stated in a news release, the museum has decided to take these measures to “slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).”
As of now, the museum plans to reopen the public while monitoring recommendations from both the state and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any updates to its operating status will be available online at vmfa.museum.
The Institute for Contemporary Art
The Institute for Contemporary Art is closed to the public through April 1, starting Saturday. The ICA made the announcement two days after the cancellation of all public programs until April 15, as recommended by the university as a “as a necessary precaution to prevent the spread of infection,” as stated in a news release.
This cancellation also includes the museum’s features outside of the art exhibitions, such as the ICA shop and the Soul N’ Vinegar dining location.
The ICA has been “taking a series of proactive measures, including implementing enhanced cleaning procedures, eliminating staff travel, working remotely, and much more,” according to a news release.
The ICA recommends checking its website and social media channels for updated information regarding future plans to reopen.
The Virginia Museum of History and Culture
The Virginia Museum of History and Culture is closed to the public through March 27.
“As we continue to receive additional guidance from state and other health authorities about COVID-19, we have decided to close the museum for the next two weeks,” said president and CEO Jamie Bosket.
“We look forward to activating museum content and programming digitally to serve our state at a distance over the next two weeks,” Bosket said.
The museum made this decision in order to “help prevent any opportunity of this virus spreading” as stated in an emailed press release.
The museum has updated information about its closure and other details related to COVID-19 on its preparedness webpage.
Grace Street Theater
The Grace Street Theater at VCU will cancel all events scheduled until April 15 and will close the theater until further notice. As stated in an Instagram post, the theater will resume hosting events “as soon as it is safe to do so, and appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate these changes.”
The theater says to check its Instagram for operational updates as well as alert.vcu.edu and the VCUarts COVID-19 blog for university updates.
The Byrd Theatre is temporarily suspending all films and canceling special events starting Saturday.
A statement on its website published by marketing director Lisa Rogerson states that this decision “is a precautionary and voluntary measure as we currently have no known cases of novel coronavirus COVID-19 associated with the Byrd Theatre.”
This comes a day after the theater posted a statement on Instagram announcing precautionary measures, such limiting movie attendees to 175 people and no longer tearing tickets to avoid hand contact.
A news release describes the closure as a “difficult decision” made “out of deep care and concern for our dedicated staff and our wonderful Byrd community.”
This article will be updated with information as it changes.