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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Momentary Announce a Phased Re-Opening Plan with New Safety Measures

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Momentary today announced that both venues will reopen to the public on June 10 with new safety measures and free timed tickets to ensure limited attendance per state guidelines. The temporary exhibitions, Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal has been extended (and is now free) through July 13 at Crystal Bridges while State of the Art 2020 will be extended with the full exhibition on view at both locations through July 12.

Photos of Crystal Bridges are available HERE, the Momentary photos are HERE, State of the Art 2020 HERE, and Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal photos are HERE.

“Our top priority remains the safety and well-being of staff, volunteers, and visitors,” said Rod Bigelow, executive director and chief diversity & inclusion officer of Crystal Bridges. “Our team has been carefully monitoring the changing landscape and we are grateful for our local partners, health officials, and peer institutions who have provided guidance. We worked with the State of Arkansas Department of Health on a plan for a measured reopening that prioritizes safety, and that plan is now approved by the state.”

“We believe in the power of art, especially during difficult times,” said Bigelow. “We feel it’s important to provide access to our collection and exhibitions as a tool for activism, reflection, and inspiration.”

Learn more about the institutional perspective on how art can activate change HERE.

“The Momentary closed after only being open a few weeks before the pandemic hit,” said Lieven Bertels, director of the Momentary.This time has allowed us to prepare for how we will showcase art and welcome our community in this new world, in a safe and responsible way. We think it’s even more important to lift up artist voices to help us process and overcome the variety of challenges we’re all facing.”

Timed Tickets

Crystal Bridges and the Momentary will be limiting the number of visitors to a maximum of 30 guests per 15 minutes at Crystal Bridges, and 15 guests every 15 minutes at the Momentary. These numbers are based on five people per 1,000 square feet of public space which adheres to a one-third capacity guideline for the state’s indoor venues. Visitors must register for a timeslot HERE for Crystal Bridges and HERE for the Momentary. Visitors will receive an email prior to their visit about what to expect and how to prepare.  A summary of changes and enhanced safety procedures are outlined below:

Enhanced Safety

  • Visitors and staff are required to wear face coverings per state directives. Wearing a face covering is a state requirement for visitor’s age 10 years and older. At Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, face coverings are recommended for ages 2+. Masks will be available for those who do not have one.
  • Crystal Bridges and the Momentary will eliminate physical tickets with touchless transactions in the lobby, food service areas, Museum Store, and Momentary Shop.
  • Doors that can safely remain open will be propped to minimize touch and/or staff will open doors for visitors.
  • Cleaning and sanitization will increase and hand sanitizer stations will be added throughout the building.
  • Signage will be in place to reinforce social distancing rules and health department advisements about COVID-19 symptoms and risks.
  • All staff and volunteers will undergo temperature checks prior to entering the building.
  • Administrative staff will have the option to work from home if possible, with no more than 50 percent of staff in office spaces at any time.
  • Training will be provided for all staff and volunteers to share best practices in safety measures prior to taking their posts.

Arkansas Department of Health directives regarding large indoor venues are available.

On-Site Changes

  • Public programs will be online-only through the month of June and possibly longer. Virtual programs can be found HERE for Crystal Bridges and HERE for the Momentary.
  • Galleries at both venues will be open. Interactive works of art will not be in use and hands-on engagements including audio guides will be suspended until further notice. Visitors are encouraged to download the Crystal Bridges app.
  • The temporary exhibition, Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal at Crystal Bridges has been extended through July 13 and will now be free.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson House, James Turrell’s Skyspace: The Way of Color, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room, and the Studio artmaking space at Crystal Bridges will remain closed until further notice due to limited space for distancing.
  • The Library at Crystal Bridges will be open with limited capacity and access to computers, and increased cleaning procedures. Digital library resources are available online HERE.
  • Restaurants at both venues will be open and will operate at one-third capacity. Guests at Eleven, the restaurant at Crystal Bridges, will be served tableside and food will be covered with plate covers for table delivery. Seating/tables will be cleaned before/after each use.
  • Coffee Bar at Crystal Bridges will open with guests queuing six feet distance apart with the help of floor markings. Touchless transactions will be implemented with plexiglass barriers at the register. Onyx Coffee Lab at the Momentary will be opening at a later date, to be determined.
  • The Tower Bar at the Momentary will reopen on June 10 with limited capacity and a texting system to ensure physically-distanced access. More information will be shared prior to its opening on the new process.
  • Shuttles between the Crystal Bridges entrance and additional parking will run; all riders (staff and guests) must wear face coverings. Riders will be spaced to honor physical distancing and the seats will be cleaned between trips. The shuttle between the Momentary, Crystal Bridges, and 21c Museum Hotel will not be operating.

Members of Crystal Bridges and the Momentary will have the opportunity for a limited capacity, timed-ticket experience from June 6 – 8. These preview days will give members a chance to reconnect with art, architecture, and nature and provide staff the ability to monitor visitor flow and adjust plans, if needed, prior to the reopening. Capacity will be limited to 15 members per 15 minutes at Crystal Bridges, and 8 members every 15 minutes at the Momentary.

“We hope visitors feel assured that we are taking every precaution to establish a safe and enjoyable experience at Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, and we remain vigilant and flexible to changing situations,” said Bigelow.

Those who are unable to visit in person can continue to enjoy Crystal Bridges and the Momentary with online programs, virtual reality, #CBfromHome activities, a 360 tour, the full collection available through eMuseum HERE, and weekly eNewsletter updates.

For updates on Crystal Bridges, visit here and follow on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
For updates on the Momentary, visit here and follow on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.