Or How to Stay Creative and Accessible During a Pandemic
This title could seem surreal yet there is nothing fictional about it. The unprecedented health crisis the world is going through has a profound impact on us all. Thousands of people are infected with COVID-19, and the temporary closure of the borders between our countries is undermining human mobility and the natural flow of cultural information of every kind. On a global scale, this new context of paralysis and containment is bewildering, as it runs counter to our practices and our beliefs as well as our basic need as humans to be connected to one another.
In this climate with an uncertain health and economic future, the museum world is not spared. For more than a week, museums in France and North America have closed to ensure the safety of public and staff, and to participate in the global effort to fight the spread of the pandemic. Culture, however, remains fluid and will remain essential because it is a vital part of our existence. Museums, now more than ever, have a leading role to play in continuing to show their relevance by sharing their collections and programs, by providing social and cultural benefits amid the pandemic, and by disseminating online resources for distraction or delight, or for learning and education.
In the digital age, museum websites and their various social media platforms provide essential content, which enables the flow of information and fosters cultural exchange. Through its consortium of 32 museums, FRAME can contribute to this exchange of information on both sides of the Atlantic by sharing information about the many online programs and activities developed by colleagues within its network. This information can be distributed throughout this time of crisis by FRAME museums through e-newsletters and updates on its websites and social media platforms. In these troubled times, FRAME is working to connect its members throughout North America and France to keep member institutions informed of the innovative ideas being implemented by colleagues in the network and to encourage partnerships.
We hope you will enjoy browsing through these digital outreach programs created by your colleagues in the FRAME network. We encourage you to share new ideas and programs with us so we can continue to highlight the many online programs available at FRAME museums. Both Marguerite d’Aprile Quigley and Emilie Vanhaesebroucke are available to help you, if needed, or to provide e-introductions between colleagues in the FRAME network.
For the duration of the pandemic, FRAME will gather information from colleagues in the network and regularly publicize the variety of new initiatives for sharing collections, exhibitions, lectures, films, games and more devised by FRAME museums to maintain the connection with their worldwide audiences and remain accessible to all even while their buildings are closed.
We hope you will stay safe and we send our best wishes for continued good health to you, your families and your friends.
William Beekman and Anne-Solène Rolland,
Marguerite d’Aprile Quigley and Emilie Vanhaesebroucke,
FRAME Executive Directors