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Contemporary Art Museum To Reopen With Health Safety Measures

A recent show at the Contemporary Art Museum
File Photo | Contemporary Art Museum
The Contemporary Art Museum will reopen July 9. The museum was closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Contemporary Art Museum will reopen its doors July 9 with new social distancing measures to reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus. 

Only about 50 people at a time will be allowed to enter the museum every 15 or 30 minutes. Visitors and employees will be required to wear face masks, and workers will disinfect public spaces every two hours as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CAM Executive Director Lisa Melandri said.

“A lot of people when they talk about what would make them feel safe coming into a public institution has to do with limited capacity, social distancing, mask wearing,” Melandri said. “We came up with the practical way to implement what has been suggested to us by the CDC, by our local government and to try to figure out what does it look like to be able to open CAM to visitors.”

Melandri said the museum will resume showing exhibits by painter Derek Fordjour and photographer Liz Johnson Artur. She said both artists deserve to have their work shown.

However, the museum will reopen under reduced hours. It will open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday to Sunday and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. It also will open be from 10 a.m. to noon each Wednesday for people at a higher risk from the disease.

Museum visitors will be encouraged to reserve free tickets prior to entering the museum.

Melandri said walk-in visits are still available to the general public unless the museum has reached capacity.

“We have to be able to have a certain modicum of control over the numbers,” Melandri said. “We're so predicated on making sure that anybody should feel welcome and that they have access to the museum, that we really wanted to be sure that we could accommodate someone who just happens to walk up.”

Exhibits that were due to run through April will now run through late August. But the museum will not offer tours until the fall. The CAM cafe and bar will remain closed.

Melandri said the coronavirus pandemic has been a hardship, but federal aid and grants have helped the organization weather the past few months.

“Museums are amongst those businesses and organizations that will actually see, in some cases, more dire financial impact in the coming fiscal year,” she said. “I think that one of the things that's really interesting and one of the great unknowns for all of us is sort of now what happens as this continues on.”

CAM will open new exhibits on Sept. 11.

Follow Chad on Twitter @iamcdavis

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Chad is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.