By Bryan Graham
For most of us in the Museum Community, 2020 truly was far worse than the hair
cuts chops men performed staring in the bathroom mirror or the awful do-it-yourself hair dye women everywhere took up. The challenges presented over the past year have been great and the way forward is unknown. Now, with breath held, we have entered 2021 with hope of resilience and dreams of “Normal”.
After speaking with folks in the Museum Community I feel it is important we all celebrate each others’ accomplishments overcoming the train wreck of 2020, every single chance we get!
With that being said, I would like to share a little of my recent visit with our Friends at Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas.
According to Frontiers of Flight Museum VP and Museum Director, Dan Steelman, as with most museums, they too, were forced to shutter their doors in March until rules and systems could be put in place to ensure safety for visitors, employees and volunteers alike. The museum incorporated recommended safety measures and systems and were able to reopen galleries and their gift shop in June.
As many museums nationwide, Frontiers of Flight also had to lay off employees, and suffered significant revenue loss. They have discontinued renting their conference rooms and party venues until “Normal” returns. And we know too well donors have pulled the purse strings tight for now.
Every Cloud does have a silver lining though. The museum strategically used the downtime to integrate website production and management with their existing staff. A significant cost reduction as I am sure we all are aware. They internally upgraded their video generation and editing skills and they also were able to use internal resources to complete their newest Gallery of the Korean War. To top that off, they were able to continue work preparing for reception of their next major artifact, an F18 Blue Angel Aircraft (which was received last week).
Amongst the revenue downfalls, reduction in staff, an “Angel” donor, the “DFW Tailhookers Association” stepped up and arranged for the Museum to attain and transport a recently retired Blue Angel Hornet. In fact, one that proudly flew over Dallas when the Blue Angels demonstrated support for the city on their Pandemic Fly Over months into the pandemic.
It was a very exciting visit with the Director of a Museum we choose to celebrate, as they are certainly on the road to recovery. They have pulled up their bootstraps, stretched the envelope of their capabilities and are emerging as a better organization, tried by fire. A hope we have for all our customers and the museum community at large. We look forward to celebrating more similar stories in the future! In closing, please let me add, Tip your Barber and Hair Stylist very well! I’ve personally learned hair styling is an art worthy of celebration!