Museum of the San Ramon Valley

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Museum of the San Ramon Valley

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The Museum of the San Ramon Valley is well on its way to being back to normal. On June 15th, California officially reopened, which amongst other things meant there were no restrictions on how museums could operate. This means we can finally operate at full capacity. Even when we could only operate at 25 percent capacity we never hit our upper limit of guests, so capacity wasn't ever really a problem. That is something that concerns me as the museum reopens; that we will have low attendance. I was able to work at the museum a few times in the middle of the pandemic, and I never worked a day where we had more than thirty total guests (including people who were merely looking for a restroom or asking for directions to something, who did not pay to look at the exhibits - we had probably no more than 20 or so paying customers per day).

We also don't need to impose mask mandates as of June 15, but the museum's board of directors decided to keep our mask mandate. However, if someone comes in without a mask and doesn't want to take a free one then we will still allow them into the museum. I am not concerned by this because I am vaccinated, and even if I wasn't there is a very low likelihood of getting sick.

We have not done any exhibits related to COVID yet. Starting last year and continuing this year we have an exhibit on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, with a focus on our local area. This is in addition to our regular exhibits. Starting today (June 19) we also have our train exhibit for a month, which is a model train display with models of local historical buildings (and other things, like a UFO and more non-history-related things). The model train exhibit always brings in little kids with their families, so hopefully that improves museum attendance. Most of our attendance comes from families with little kids, older Baby Boomers, and the elderly. The museum needs to improve on attracting people in their teens and twenties in order to earn more. Hopefully, a COVID exhibit can do that by making history more personal. On our website, we have a story collection form for people to share stories of COVID, much like JOTPY, but I do not know what we will be doing with those responses. When I physically work at the museum next I have a bunch of items from last year (inspirational painted rocks, city council and school board campaign materials, masks) that I will donate, and hopefully, those and other items find their way into an exhibit.

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This item was submitted on June 19, 2021 by [anonymous user] using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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