Motown Museum reopened Wednesday and assured guests, “Everything is alright and uptight.” Like many public spaces, the museum closed in March due to the coronavirus. Despite other institutions across the state reopening sooner, Motown wanted to make sure they had the best practices in place.
“This has been a day that we have planned for and a day that we have looked forward to in many ways just to invite the community back into a space that means so much to them,” said Motown Museum Chairwoman and CEO Robin Terry. “It was important to make sure we could accommodate folks safely, have the right protocols in place, and to really understand what that means because people know this is an intimate environment.”
Those protocols begin before guests even arrive. The public is encouraged to purchase tickets online to limit cash transactions as much as possible. Then as guests arrive, they will notice social distance markers in the form of records starting on the sidewalk outside and continuing inside to remind them, “I Can’t Get Next to You.”
Other steps Motown is taking to keep patrons safe are:
Requiring face masks
Screening for COVID-19 symptoms along with temperature checks at the door
Sanitizing stations present throughout the facility
Smaller Tour Groups (10 people maximum)
Frequent disinfecting and cleaning
Motown has made it easier for people to “Shop Around” with an outdoor retail pop up shop and curbside pick up available. Besides added safety measures, the museum has also relaxed its previous strict photo policy.
“For a long time, you could not take pictures here, and we said what better time than now to allow our patrons, our fans, to come and capture their moments in Hitsville and share them with the world…We know this place holds a special place in the hearts of people, and we want them to feel free to share that,” said Terry.
The reopening also includes a brand new exhibit co-curated by famous Motown photographer Jim Hendin titled “Capturing a Culture Change.” Hendin is best known for photographing the legendary “What’s Going On” Marvin Gaye cover.
Terry said the new display tells the story of how Motown transitioned from the ’60s to the ’70s during the midst of a lot of civil unrest, and protest movements are it anti-war, civil rights, women’s rights and how Motown responded to that; not only through music using the artists on the roster but the way they sold them on the covers.
The new changes appear to be received well by the public so far. Motown Museum nearly sold out its first day back. Tour guide Jamia Henry admits she was a little apprehensive about the reopen at first.
“It [the tour] went a lot better than I thought…I’m hopeful for the future. I think we’ll be able to manage everything the right way,” said Henry.
Looking toward the future, the museum has broken ground on phase one of its expansion project, Hitsville Next, supporting education programs around entrepreneurship, talent cultivation, masterclasses, and camps. Phase one is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
To purchase your Motown museum tickets, visit https://www.motownmuseum.org/.