Los Angeles Museums to Reopen at 25 Percent Capacity
March 15, 2021
Shuttered for a year amid the continuing Covid-19 crisis, museums in Los Angeles will be allowed to open at 25 percent capacity from today, with safety measures in place. The news comes as infection rates in Los Angeles County are deemed to have fallen sufficiently to warrant the county being moved from the “purple” tier, in which the most stringent restrictions still apply, to the “red” tier, which is slightly less restrictive.
According to the California Association of Museums, the closure of LA County’s museums, zoos, and aquariums accounted for a $5 billion loss in revenue.
“It’s thrilling that we’ve finally been given permission to reopen,” Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, told the New York Times. To cut costs during the pandemic, LACMA, which shortly after the shutdown went ahead with a long-planned new building project, notoriously downgraded the house provided Govan to live in, and then sold even the more modest version. The museum is slated to open April 1, as it takes the time to put the necessary Covid-19 protocols in place.
Ann Philbin, director of the Hammer Museum, told the paper that the institution plans to open in mid-April, noting, “It will take us a few weeks to ramp up.” The Hammer, along with the Huntington in Pasadena, is hosting “Made in L.A. 2020”; the latest iteration of a biannual initiative elevating local artists was severely curtailed by the pandemic, with works appearing on a pop-up basis in outdoor spots throughout the city. “I’m so excited to see people in the galleries and for ‘Made in L.A.’ to finally have its audience,” said Philbin.