While the Whatcom Museum’s campus — the Lightcatcher building, Family Interactive Gallery (FIG), Old City Hall, and Photo Archives — is empty, the museum has been actively engaged with the community through a variety of digital programs, activities and social media platforms, according to a news release.
From the new digital Story Dome storytelling project to downloadable FIG at Home kids’ activities and virtual programs the useum is dedicated to providing people of all ages with art, history and nature experiences, just as it has for more than 77 years.
Digital Story Dome project
Story Dome is a physical structure — a colorful, geodesic recording booth — that will debut in the lobby of the Lightcatcher building when the museum re-opens. While the long-term goal is to engage audiences in person, in this time of social distancing the museum wants to stay connected and document peoples’ experiences during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy quarantine.
Story Dome invites people to record a short story, recite a poem, sing a song or share spoken words that respond to three different prompts about a favorite place people miss visiting, the “internal landscape” of their quarantine experience or their feelings about being stuck in place. The Story Dome prompts are easy to follow and only take 3 minutes, at www.whatcommuseum.org/story-dome-project.
The Whatcom Museum is also offering virtual programs designed to educate and engage audiences of all ages. Programs will be delivered via Zoom and require advanced registration via Eventbrite. Current programs include:
n “Virtual Audubon Society Program: Fire in Washington’s Forests: A Tale of Two Sides of the Mountains,” with Brian Harvey of the University of Washington on Tuesday, May 26, 7–9 p.m. This program is free, but registration is required at www.eventbrite.com/e/north-cascades-audubon-society-fire-in-was-forests-registration-103550321800.
n Virtual Low Sensory Sunday from 10-10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 31. Low Sensory Sundays are designed for children ages 12 and younger with autism spectrum and other sensory-processing disorders. This virtual program is free and includes a low-sensory digital kit and a virtual live book reading. Registration required at www.eventbrite.com/e/whatcom-museum-virtual-low-sensory-sunday-registration-105439632780.
n Virtual museum in Mind from 1-2 p.m. Tuesday, June 2. This two-part virtual program is designed for those with early-stage memory loss or dementia and their care partners. The program consists of a conversation-based virtual gallery tour of Conversations Between Collections followed by a landscape collage art-making activity with guidance from our museum educator. This program is free, but future programs will include a registration fee. Registration required at www.eventbrite.com/e/whatcom-museum-virtual-museum-in-mind-registration-105443837356.
FIG at Home Projects
The Museum is offering a selection of downloadable at-home activities, from science experiments to craft projects, developed by our Family Interactive Gallery (FIG) staff. Activities include materials lists and easy-to-follow instructions. A few activities feature video tutorials. Additionally, the FIG at Home page on the museum’s website, www.whatcommuseum.org/explore/family-interactive-gallery/fig-at-home, includes links to other online learning resources.
Virtual Gallery tours and activities
The Museum’s YouTube channel is regularly updated with curator-led virtual gallery tours, collection highlights, and educational activities created by the museum’s staff. More info at www.youtube.com/channel/UCYz8T6m25N7R55ZMeDilEOA
The museum campus is closed through May 31, or until further notice. For updates on museum operations during COVID-19 visit www.whatcommuseum.org/whatcom-museum-covid-19-response/. The museum is actively posting content on Facebook (@WhatcomMuseum), Twitter (@Whatcom_Museum) and Instagram (@whatcom_museum).