Chatham Marconi Center Adapts Museum to COVID-19 Pandemic

CHATHAM – The Chatham Marconi Maritime Center has instituted a number of COVID-19 adaptations in order to maximize public safety amid the pandemic, said officials from the center.

Their museum is now open seven days a week, with specific time frames for visiting for a maximum of 10 guests at any one time.

“We also offer exclusive access admission where you can reserve the entire museum for a private tour for your group, as well. We have wonderful volunteer guides who are so knowledgeable about the history of this place,” said Executive Director Kristen Clothier.

Clothier said that the guides have undergone a virtual training program to prepare them for the modified season.

She also said that they have moved their usual summer speaker series program to a virtual format to ensure safety, as well.

A topic included in the program will be how radio technology ended isolation at sea and improved safety for mariners, said Clothier.

“All of our programs are virtual. We’ve brought in audiences from throughout our community, but also throughout the country and even abroad to participate in those programs. We’ve had a very high participation rate that continues to grow,” she said.

According to Clothier, the center discussed best practices with other museums in the region to develop the safest protocols for reopening during the pandemic.

The reservation system has been changed to online booking, which allows the center to communicate to visitors what the new protocols are ahead of time.

Clothier said that the smaller number of guests at a given time leads to a “very custom museum experience”.

Videos and other media have also been put online for visitors to enjoy before arriving, so that visitors can maintain social distancing once at the museum instead of spending time close together to watch the films.

“The virtual space has been a really exciting direction to go in. It’s not something we would have decided to do this year, but now that we’ve shifted all of our programming to virtual, the feedback we’ve received is that people are really enjoying being able to stay connected remotely,” said Clothier.

She said that the center plans to continue offering virtual programs even as restrictions are loosened, leading to a more hybrid model for the museum going forward.

Clothier said that the museum’s STEM education courses for children, including engineering subjects like robotics and chemistry, were transitioned to an outdoor family STEM program this year, laid out across several tables on the center’s front lawn and lead by local teachers.

For more information on the programs Chatham Marconi Maritime Center offers, visit their website.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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