California museums rally behind statewide health initiative

By Sofia Santana

Images courtesy of SoCal Museums and the California Association of Museums

In response to the ongoing statewide restrictions put into place over the last year, SoCal Museums and the California Association of Museums have joined in a collective effort to support health guidelines across the state.

The #MuseumsForMasks initiative includes over 45 participating museums and cultural institutions from San Diego to the Bay Area, and reminds people to wear masks, stay six feet apart from others, wash their hands frequently, and to stay home if they are feeling sick through social media and digital ad campaigns.

Since the annual SoCal Museums Free-for-All event, which offers free admission to various museums, was
cancelled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, members of SoCal Museums and the California Association of Museums were looking for a way to engage museum-goers while promoting California health guidelines.

“#MuseumsForMasks came out of a desire to just use our platforms, because collectively we have a really big reach, and to just support the public health initiative,” said Lucy Spriggs, president of SoCal Museums and marketing manager for The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. “Obviously there is the payoff that if numbers go down, we can reopen. But genuinely our motivation was to simply use our platforms to get the word out.”

On Jan. 28, 45 museums across California including The Getty, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and the California Science Center took to social media to remind their visitors of the state’s COVID-19 health guidelines.

“We are thrilled to partner with SoCal Museums to prioritize health and safety during this unprecedented time,” said Jennifer Caballero, board president of the California Association of Museums and marketing director for Skirball Cultural Center. “Our collective goal is to bring arts and culture to our communities, and we can only do that if everyone is safe. We hope that this effort will remind people to adhere to the State’s public health guidelines and that together we can help stem the spread of coronavirus infections in California.”

SoCal Museums is a group of marketing and communications professionals from museums all over Southern California whose mission is to foster dialogue between marketing and communications museum professionals in order to learn from each other, network and conceptualize ways to increase visitation to and awareness of museums.

The California Association of Museums is made up of more than 1,200 individual, business and institutional members across California ranging from historical societies and cultural centers to zoos and more.

More information about SoCal Museums and the California Association of Museums can be found at socalmuseums.org and calmuseums.org

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