Children’s Museums in a Pandemic: Snapshots of Impact from a Survey of ACM Members

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Announcing the Fourth Volume of ACM Trends Reports from the Association of Children’s Museums and Knology

The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and Knology kicked off the fourth series of ACM Trends Reports with “Children’s Museums in a Pandemic: Snapshots of Impact.” As Volume 4.1 of the series, this report presents initial findings from a study about the effect of COVID-19 on the children’s museum field.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating across all areas of life, and children’s museums around the world are adapting to this constantly changing landscape,” said ACM Executive Director Laura Huerta Migus. “With the museum sector currently in flux, we hope these initial findings will inform museums and stakeholders as we refocus and reimagine our field.”

The data draws from a survey from 115 ACM member museums conducted in May 2020. Key findings include:

  • Reopening – Of those surveyed, 39 children’s museums planned to open before the end of 2020. Others had not yet identified reopening dates.
  • Federal Funding – Of those surveyed, 95 US children’s museums cumulatively received $29.34 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.
  • Staffing – At the time of the survey, 75 US children’s museums reported staff reductions. Of those, 32% of full-time staff had been furloughed, laid-off, or had reduced working hours. For part-time staff, 64% had been furloughed, laid-off, or had reduced working hours.

ACM will continue to explore this data in future reports in Volume 4 of the ACM Trends Reports series, forthcoming in summer 2020.

Read the full text of ACM Trends 4.1 here.

About ACM Trends Reports:
Launched in Fall 2017, the ACM Trends Reports series draws from more than a decade of ACM member data to reveal trends in the children’s museum field. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

About Association of Children’s Museums (ACM):
The Association of Children's Museums (ACM) champions children's museums worldwide. With more than 460 members in 50 states and 19 countries, ACM leverages the collective knowledge of children's museums through convening, sharing, and dissemination. Learn more at http://www.childrensmuseums.org.

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