The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) announced today that it will officially reopen to the public beginning in July. From July 1 to July 3 the Museum will welcome its members, with the general public welcomed back on Monday, July 6.
The Museum will be extending the Bodies Revealed exhibition to Sunday, September 27, and has shifted Sean Kenney’s Wild Connections Made with LEGO® Bricks exhibition to open in November this year. Museum guests will need to purchase tickets in advance using the Museum’s online ticketing system to ensure contactless entry to the Museum upon arrival. Visitors may purchase tickets online at grpm.org.
“We look forward to welcoming our community back to our space after nearly four months of being closed,” said Dale Robertson, President & CEO of the Grand Rapids Public Museum. “Our team has taken many steps and precautions to limit risks associated with COVID-19 transmission in our spaces. Visitors will see new procedures, including at the Museum’s entry, and throughout our exhibition spaces.”
The GRPM visitor experience will look different in many ways, including capacity limits. While visitor favorites will continue, the Museum has temporarily removed high touch point areas and experiences. Touch screen and virtual reality experiences will not be available immediately following re-opening. Signage has been added for entrance into the Museum, as well as throughout the building to remind guests about maintaining a 6’ distance from other groups.
Cleaning efforts have been increased in accordance with health department suggestions and regulations. The GRPM has also added hand sanitizing stations and are implementing more frequent and detailed cleaning protocols to the already comprehensive cleaning schedule.
GRPM staff and guests will be asked to wear face masks, unless an individual is medically unable to tolerate a face covering. Locally-made face masks and hand sanitizer will be available for purchase at the Curiosity Shop.
The Museum will close for the Independence Day holiday on July 4 and Sunday, July 5 for cleaning. The general public will be welcomed back to the Museum with normal operating hours beginning Monday, July 6. The Museum Cafe will reopen on July 6 with pre-packaged snacks and beverages and capacity limits. The Curiosity Shop will also reopen on July 6, following retail guidelines with limited capacity.
Bodies Revealed features real, whole and partial body specimens that have been preserved through an innovative process, giving visitors the opportunity to view the complexity of their own organs and systems in a way that’s normally reserved for medical professionals. The exhibit features 10 full body specimens as well as over 100 organs and partial specimens. Bodies Revealed allows visitors to learn about their own bodies and ultimately, teaches the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Advance ticket purchases are recommended. Open through September 27, 2020.
The TOYS! exhibit will reopen when the Museum opens in July and will remain on display until mid-August. TOYS! is an interactive, multi-generation exhibition of toys and games to rekindle childhood memories and spark the creation of new ones. This GRPM original exhibit features toys and games from the Museum’s Collections and on loan from the community, allowing visitors to imagine, compete and create, while taking going on a journey of toys through generations. Through the design process of the exhibition, the Museum worked with several experts from the community making sure the design was as inclusive as possible so everyone visiting can enjoy it.
Sean Kenney’s Wild Connections Made with LEGO® Bricks, an award-winning and record-breaking exhibition that uses beautiful creations made from simple toy blocks to explore animal endangerment, the balance of ecosystems, and mankind’s relationship with nature, is opening November 7, 2020. Produced by Imagine Exhibitions, Wild Connections depicts important topics that the New York artist, Sean Kenney, holds dear, from protecting an animals’ habitat, to planting a garden, or using a bike instead of a car. Wild Connections shows that just as LEGO® pieces interconnect, everything in nature is interconnected in a delicate balance. The narratives, along with the intricate displays, explore the importance of conservation, the balance of ecosystems, predator/prey relationships, as well as the relationships between humankind and the natural world. Most importantly, the exhibition allows visitors to appreciate both nature and the sculptures as something beautiful and inspires them to go home and create something wonderful themselves.
GRPM Digital Resources
The Museum has a variety of fun, educational resources available online for free, at grpm.org/HomeMuseum. All ages can engage with Virtual Discovery Kits and online Collections Scavenger Hunts, as well as explore and curate their own digital exhibits on the Museum’s Collections database (grpmcollections.org), enjoy at-home experiments from the Museum’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/GRMuseum), coloring pages of artifacts, as well as tuning into see the Museum’s two live Lake Sturgeon! For more information visit grpm.org.
Virtual Camp Curious Summer Camps – starting June 15
This summer, pre-K through 9th grade students have opportunities to explore, grow and learn with the Museum from the comfort of their home in Virtual Camp Curious, led by Museum educators. Camp Curious virtual sessions will utilize the video streaming platform Zoom and the virtual platform SeeSaw. A live kick-off and wrap up with camp instructors will happen each day of camp via Zoom, followed by all activities, videos and other virtual learning content posted on SeeSaw. For more information and to sign up, please visit grpm.org/campcurious.
Grand Rapids Public Museum
The Grand Rapids Public Museum is an invaluable, publicly-owned institution that is home to more than 250,000 unique artifacts that tell the history of Kent County and beyond, houses the only planetarium in the region, and is responsible for protecting The Mounds, a national historic landmark. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, with its main location in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees and exhibit/event listings, please visit www.grpm.org.