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COVID-19 Impact on CNY Arts and Culture: No Field Trips to the Museum of Science and Technology

WAER File Photo

Venues in Central New York that count on ticket sales and foot traffic to sustain them are facing uncertain times in the coming months as the closures due to COVID-19 drag on.  WAER News brings you the first in a series of stories on museums, theaters, as well as musicians wondering what’s next.

This time of year is typically the peak time for school field trips at the Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse.  President Lauren Kochian says they’re missing out on $90,000 in revenue from 18,000 students that would ordinarily stream through the doors between mid-March and the end of the school year.

“We took a tremendous hit on that for this particular time of year, but we are of course doing the best we can to fundraise so that when we re-open we can get back to some sort of return to normal.”

She says there’s been a great response to a plea for donations during a time when they don’t typically fundraise.  They’re also well on their way to a goal created on a GoFundMe page seeking five-dollar gifts, the cost per student on a field trip.  Kochian says while the armory is closed, they are open in a virtual way online.

“We’ve had a tremendous response to the programming we’re offering right now. We have a STEM activity that parents can do at home with their kids that only requires some household items that you have around the house.”

Kochian says their website, has even more activities now that the MOST is celebrating Earth Month.  As for re-opening, she says they’ll do their best to be prepared to meet what will likely be a shift in visitor expectations.

“There may be certain mandates that happen with this closure that may sticking around, even temporarily. For example, we may have to maintain an attendance cap. There may be those social distancing issues that require us to seat people differently in the IMAX theater.”

She says before the forced shut down, the museum had already invested in sanitizing equipment and was briefly closing parts of the museum to clean.  Meanwhile, she says they’ve had to place some big projects on hold, such as creating a new permanent exhibit and converting IMAX to an all-digital platform.

The museum has not yet made plans to re-open.