Dear DMFAH Members and Friends,
Effective March 20, 2020, per the recommendation of the Virginia Association of Museums, the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History (DMFAH) will be closed to the public for at least six weeks. This decision is in alignment with information from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Centers for Disease Control(CDC) regarding necessary precautions for the prevention and containment of COVID-19. With an attendance of almost 2,230 visitors within the first two months of 2020 to see the Camilla Williams, the Civil Rights, the Civil War, and the Sutherlin House exhibitions, we feel it necessary to do our part to flatten the virus curve by discouraging visitation to the museum and preventing the unwitting transfer and spread of the disease.
With the recent prohibition of large public gatherings, our planned spring fundraiser, Derby Day, has been postponed. Churchill Downs has rescheduled the Kentucky Derby for September 5, 2020. Mark your calendars now for DMFAH’s Derby Day event. We look forward to sharing additional information closer to the date!
While the museum is closed to the public, there are many essential tasks that require ongoing attention. We are grateful to our dedicated staff who will be maintaining museum artifacts and creating engaging programming while our facilities are closed to the public. We will continue to develop summer and fall programs and will make amendments to museum timelines as information is disclosed.
All of us at DMFAH are dedicated in our efforts to serve the Danville community by providing an assortment of interesting and diverse cultural programming. We are proud to share our new capability for VR 360 tours of a select number of museum exhibitions, and will continue to update our website (www.danvillemuseum.org). Additionally, DMFAH has partnered with Smokestack Theatre Company to offer additional virtual content with an upcoming Virginia Humanities program showcasing DMFAH history narratives. We look forward to sharing this with you soon! If you are missing the Camilla Williams exhibition, you can now look at here: http://poly.google.com/view/8XzrGEWS7Gr or on our website danvillemuseum.org.
Founded in 1974, the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History has served the Danville community since its inception and has contributed to the region’s civic, political, agricultural, and industrial histories. During these unforeseen and unpredictable times, the museum requests your continued financial support through your membership and/or donations. As we are sensitive to each family’s and individual’s circumstance, please consider the impact the absence of membership dues will have on the museum as we strive to withstand the impact of this pandemic.
Cultural institutions define communities, and cultural institutions provide for us the hope and the systems to regenerate. Your decision to sustain the museum will have an impact on our future.
The Museum is pleased to offer several options for contribution:
Option 1 – Continue to contribute through your annual museum membership and/or donate generously to help secure your museum’s financial security during the coming months. Consider the museum in your estate planning when considering donations!
Option 2 – Freeze your membership until the museum reopens. After the facility operations reopen, your regular membership will resume automatically on your normal draft date. While we cannot provide reimbursement for current/completed museum memberships, after resuming operations, the museum will not charge members for the months the museum was closed.
Option 3 – Donate to the best of your ability and/or sponsor a virtual program, event, or exhibition in order to help us keep the staff employed during this difficult time. Current projects include creating a revised and updated Danville Museum Visitor Services Video and constructing a traveling trunk show for each museum exhibition that will be made available for students K-12 (as well as virtually). We are also currently focused on creating traveling DMFAH exhibitions for neighboring museums to access.
Funding is vital for supporting our administrative costs as we strive to provide strong and resilient programming once we re-open. On behalf of the DMFAH board and staff, we wish to thank you for your generous and continued support!
Elsabé Dixon Kristen Barker
Executive Director Board President