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Museum Programs Gone Virtual

San Bernardino County, CA
Program Year: 2021

Abstract:
The San Bernardino County Museum’s (SBCM) annual and quarterly programs highlight the region’s natural and cultural history. Traditionally, Museum onsite programs are multidisciplinary; integrate live demonstrations, entertainment, and educational activities. Alongside invited non-profit organizations and government agencies with the goal of strengthening visitors’ appreciation for the region.The COVID-19 pandemic halted onsite museum programming since our temporary closure in March 2020. Our educational public service meant that maintaining communication and connecting with the county’s over 2 million residents would be crucial during this ongoing health crisis.From March 2020 through February 2021 the museum pivoted six regularly scheduled annual and quarterly onsite programs to the virtual environment which included Cosmic Nights, Old Spanish Trail Days, Prepare for the Great California ShakeOut, Science Spooktacular!, Old West Days, and Arthropolooza: The Ultimate Bug Fest. These now virtual programs were initially hosted on the San Bernardino County Museum and Victor Valley Museum social media pages, and were later supplemented by drive through pick up of activity bags so families could engage with the demonstrations and lessons in the posted videos.Transitioning to virtual programming has allowed the museum to continue collaborating with existing and new non-profit organizations and government agencies across San Bernardino County and outside of it, helping us maintain connections with our county residents and beyond during statewide closures.In this process, it became evident to museum staff that our audience, now more than ever, needed to participate in engaging, educational, and fun programs from the safety and comfort of their own home. The popularity of the first three virtual programs prompted museum staff to engage residents further by developing free activity bags that were safely available at the museum via curbside pickup and our from our partnering organizations that complemented the following virtual programs, Science Spooktacular!, Old West Days, and Arthropolooza: The Ultimate Bug Fest.

Contact:
Ms. Melissa Russo
Museum Director