COVID-19/coronavirus Updates for Museums

Updated 5/28/2020

Governor’s order allows all libraries, archives and museums to reopen with guidelines

Effective Friday, May 8th, all libraries, archives, and museums may reopen to the public following health guidelines. 

In order to Reopen Alaska Responsibly new guidance for libraries, museums, and archives:

Scroll down to the link for libraries, museums, and archives to view this guidance document:

Monthly COVID-19 Survey For Alaska Museums

Alaska museum directors have received an invitation to take part in a monthly survey to gauge the economic impacts of the museum closures and tourism fallout. The survey will open at the beginning of the month and close on the 15th of the month. The data will be shared with Alaska’s Congressional delegation to track changes over time. This data will help Alaska museums with advocacy and understand how we can help one another during this time. Please contact us if you have not received the survey link and believe you should have.

The most recent survey results can be found here.

Resources for Museums with regard to COVID-19/coronavirus

The American Alliance of Museums (AAM) has released a directory of resources and recommendations for museums with regard to the growing spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the United States. View these resources here.

AAM has most recently released information regarding preparing for reopening. View this resource here.

The Alaska State Museum Office of Statewide Services maintains a directory of resources for emergency and crisis, including important updated resources for COVID-19.

The Foraker Group has created a page of resources to support Alaska’s nonprofits during this time. View these resources here.

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training has shared this resource on disinfecting cultural resources.


SBA Loans for Nonprofits

The Small Business Association is making low-interest loans available to non-profits affected by coronavirus. Learn more here.

Included in the above link is information about the following:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
  • Express Bridge Loans
  • Debt Relief

NEA CARES Act Funding

The National Endowment for the Arts will award funding to award recipients from the past 4 years. Learn more here.

The Alaska State Council on the Arts will receive a portion of this federal funding, and will update their website with more information when it becomes available.

IMLS CARES Act Funding

The Institute for Museum and Library Services has granted $66,000 of the CARES Act funding to Alaska, with the funding to be distributed by the Alaska State Library Administrative Agency. Further information about opportunities to access this funding are forthcoming. Interested organizations are encouraged to sign up for the akmuseums listserv (see below) for rapid updates.

Funding opportunities for museums were announced Friday, May 8th. Learn more here:

NEH CARES Act Funding

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced the NEH CARES: Cultural Organizations grant program. This grant will fund at-risk humanities positions and projects. The deadline to apply is May 11. Learn more here.

Alaska Humanities Forum Grants

The Alaska Humanities Forum Emergency Relief Grant program is now accepting applications. Institutions can apply for up to $10,000. The first deadline was May 1, though applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the funding is exhausted. Learn more about this grant program and apply here.

WESTAF CARES Relief Funding

WESTAF CARES Relief Fund for Organizations is a competitive grant program, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed by Congress and signed into law in March 2020. The WESTAF CARES Relief Fund provides general operating support to eligible arts and culture organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.

ACF Rapid Response Grants

The Alaska Community Foundation is offering a Rapid Response grant, with a quick deadline of April 10th. There will be more than one opportunity to apply for this grant, so check back on their website.

State of Alaska CARES Act Funding

The State of Alaska is opening up applications for a $290 million small business and nonprofit grant program. Learn more here.

Need Help?

The National Council of Nonprofits has created a helpful chart to help guide you in understanding the above opportunities.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created a useful PDF to explain eligibility and frequently asked questions.

Tell your legislators to include Museums in COVID-19 economic stimulus packages

The American Alliance of Museums has calculated that museums are losing at least $33 million a day due to closures as a result of COVID-19, will be in desperate need of significant federal support. Please urge the U.S. Congress to include museums in economic relief legislation to provide emergency assistance.

Take Action TODAY: Use the template shared on AAM’s website to share your message with congress. Find your legislators’ contact information here.

Use this infographic to convey the impact on Alaska’s museums.

Stay Connected –  #museumfromhome

Museums Alaska will be holding a “distance networking” event every other week on Thursdays at 12:00pm. Join to check in with your colleagues (from a safe distance!) using Zoom meeting software. If there are many participants, we will assign participants into “breakout rooms”. Find the event details here.

Make sure you are signed up to receive updates from Museums Alaska:

Make sure you are signed up for the AKMuseums Listserv:

Use #museumfromhome on social media, and check out what others are doing by searching with that hashtag!

Museum From Home

Museums Alaska partnered with the Alaska State Museum to create a list of ways people can engage with museums right now. Please share this list with your community. View it here.

Professional Development Opportunities

The Alaska State Museum Office of Statewide Services maintains a calendar of opportunities for Alaska museums, including many new virtual or distance opportunities to support museums in response to COVID-19. The resources can be found here.

Museums Alaska is also currently piloting a series of webinars. Information and registration for those can be found here.

Resources for Museums on Permanent Closure

When a History Museum Closes by AASLH Committee on Professional Standards and Ethics

Making a Good End: How to Close a Museum, a Connecting to Collections Care resource

Museums Facing Closure: Legal and Ethical Issues, a Museums Association resource