Dear CWAM community,

Collectively, we are facing an unprecedented situation. In early March CWAM formed a COVID-19 response team, not knowing how much would change in such a short period of time. It is with a great sense of sadness I write today to let you know that we made the difficult decision to cancel the annual meeting in Alamosa scheduled for April 16-18, 2020.

We did not come to this decision lightly. We will be contacting anyone who already registered for the annual meeting to issue a refund soon.

I understand that COVID-19 is affecting all of us whether through closures and event cancellations, loss of revenues, furloughs, or in more subtle, perhaps harder to define ways. CWAM’s board stands together, committed to continue to find ways to serve you, our museum community. Please reach out and let us know what you’re facing. I encourage you to read my colleague Christie Cain’s thoughtful and practical suggestions below for emergency preparations in this time of uncertainty.

I will close with a wish to see you again soon, healthy and in good spirits, eager to collect, preserve, interpret, and learn from each other in this incredible CWAM community.

With a heavy heart,

Jessica

Jessica Brunecky

president@cwam-us.org

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A note from your CWAM Emergency Preparedness Chair:

As we all face some uncertainty with closures and suspended activities due to the Covid-19 virus, we must think of our staff, visitors, and our collections.  AAM has provided some resources on dealing with prevention in your museum: https://www.aam-us.org/programs/resource-library/human-resource-resources/health-in-the-workplace/

As many of our museums are closing, be thoughtful about your emergency plans, your business continuity planning, and the security of the collections you are leaving behind.  Many museums are announcing on websites and social media that they are closing. Unfortunately this can provide an opportunity for those looking for unattended valuables.  Be sure the security of your buildings and collections is a part of any closure planning.

Staff will also likely be stressed and anxious.  Below are some links for resources to address mental and emotional health during times of crisis.

https://mhanys.org/mh-update-3-12-20-very-strong-statement-from-mental-health-america-about-mental-health-impact-of-covid-19/

https://www.phe.gov/emergency/events/sandy/Pages/mental-health.aspx

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/coping.html

What you can do right now:

  • Take this time to update, create, or edit your emergency plans and business continuity plans.
  • Urge your legislators to include museums in Covid-19 relief and economic stimulus.

https://www.congressweb.com/AAM/67#/67/

  • Have virtual meetings over Zoom, Skype or on the phone as opposed to email to maintain personal connections while working from home.
  • Having events cancelled can mean a time to catch up on your backlog. Use this time to feel productive about those things we have all been pushing to the back burner.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you are in need of resources.

Stay healthy,

Christina Cain

Christina.cain@colorado.edu