By Melissa Cole, Curator
I hope this message finds you and your families healthy and safe. For the past few weeks we as individuals have changed the way we interact with one another and the community around us. Our day-to-day routines have changed. For me it has also been a time of reflection and continues to be a time of learning and insight as we navigate this new normal: working from home and, for some us, with children by our sides.
I encourage you to reflect on this time, as we are literally living through a major historical moment in our lives – document through whatever way you are comfortable: photography, writing, or journaling on the computer.
If you have children or grandchildren in your lives, I encourage you to visit this site that a friend forwarded to me – this is a great resource to get your kids journaling about their experience of living through COVID-19 while also having fun!
This past week I was talking to colleagues from across the province during a Regional Museum Network teleconference call. Most museums are facing the same issues, such as uncertainty (many seasonal museums wondering if their doors will open this summer), financial implications from events being cancelled, and staff layoffs. Many museums, like us, are using social media to continue to engage with their communities. In some regions, museum and library staff have been redeployed to assist their communities in battling this pandemic through helping on the front lines of nursing homes. You can read more about this here:
Although many of our events have been cancelled or postponed, this is also the case for our upcoming exhibit, Leaving Home, Finding Home in Oshawa: Displaced Persons & Stories of Immigration, that was set to open this spring. The exhibit started as an oral history project four years ago, and thanks to our community participants it has shaped into an exhibit which was going to open later this year; because this pandemic has affected our operations, it will be moved to 2021 and will become our feature exhibition next year.
As it is still unknown when our doors may be open again, we are still planning future exhibitions for the fall. We have revamped our exhibit plan moving forward and are planning a larger exhibit highlighting the 100 Year Anniversary of Lakeview Park. This exhibit will showcase photographs from our archives featuring collections such as the Lowry Collection and memories shared through our Lakefront Memories Project.
I remain hopeful that we will soon gather at the lakefront again to enjoy the museum and the beautiful park that we stand in.