Cincinnati Museum of Art, Center for Contemporary Art, Taft Museum Closed until mid-January | Visual arts | Cincinnati

Photo: courtesy of the Cincinnati Museum of Art

Three major arts institutions in Cincinnati have decided to close their doors to the public until mid-January.

The Cincinnati Art Museum will be closed until January 12 and the Taft Museum of Art and Contemporary Arts Center will be closed until January 13.

The temporary closures come as the region experiences a major surge in COVID cases. On Dec. 29, Governor Mike DeWine deployed 1,250 National Guardsmen from Ohio to support operations at state hospitals, bringing the total to 2,300 deployed since Dec. 17. In a statement, DeWine’s office said, “The mobilization comes the same day the state set an all-time high for the total number of COVID-19 hospitalizations during the pandemic.”

The Cincinnati Art Museum called the pandemic an “indirect factor” in its decision to suspend operations. Instead, they said the goal was “to allow the museum’s 235 staff and hundreds of volunteers to focus on personal healing and community service. »

“Over the past two years, our museum has protected and cared for our community, our staff and an extensive network of educational services. The Cincinnati Museum of Art was the first museum to reopen in a tri-state area in 2020. Now our staff and volunteers need an intermission to focus on our health and well-being. Whether employees choose to reconnect with family or work at a food bank, this break allows us to grow individually while we all grow collectively,” Cameron Kitchin, director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, said in a statement. “I am convinced that healing and service is a path to long-term strength.”

The Art Climb and the museum’s digital resources are still open and free during the closure. The Cincinnati Museum of Art itself will reopen to the public on January 13.

In contrast, the Contemporary Art Center said its decision to close was actually due to the pandemic, writing on Facebook: “Given the increase in Covid-19 cases, the CAC will be closing briefly to support safety. of our community and our staff. “

The virtual experiences on their website are still open, as is Fausto, the cafe inside the CAC lobby (hours are 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday). The CAC will reopen on January 14.

Similar to the CAC, the Taft Museum of Art sent an email saying it was closing due to COVID. “In response to heightened concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors, the Taft Museum of Art will be suspending non-essential museum operations on-site from 3 to Jan. 13, 2022,” the email read.

The Taft says ticket holders for events scheduled to take place during this time will be notified of postponement or refund opportunities. The permanent collection of the museum is also visible online.

The Taft is currently in the process of a bicentennial infrastructure project to help preserve and restore the historic house in which it sits. Part of Taft’s collection is currently on display at the Cincinnati Museum Center in the exhibit Borrowed Gems.

For more information on the closure of the Cincinnati Art Museum, visit cincinnatiartmuseum.org. For more information on the Contemporary Arts Center’s closure, visit contemporaryartscenter.org. And for more information on the closure of the Taft Museum of Art, visit taftmuseum.org.

Cincinnati’s coronavirus cases spiked in December, which was widely attributed to the spread of the virus at indoor Thanksgiving gatherings. According to city data, cases spiked with the Delta variant from July to October before dropping for a few weeks and then rising again in December as the Omicron variant spread rapidly.

As of Jan. 4, the city of Cincinnati had 560 new COVID-19 cases, though that’s likely an undercount because it often takes health departments a few days to update data after weekends and weekends. holidays. Among the new cases, 160 are between 20 and 29 years old, 111 between 30 and 39 years old and 71 between 40 and 49 years old.

Doctors have warned that congregating indoors – especially with people who are unvaccinated, without masks and without social distancing – increases the likelihood of both spreading and catching COVID-19.

COVID-19 continues to be an issue in Greater Cincinnati as well as throughout Ohio, Kentucky and the country. On Jan. 3, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said on Dec. 30 the state had 6,441 cases of COVID-19, the highest on record in a single day (the previous highest number was 5). 742 cases on January 6, 2021).

On December 29, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine reported that 5,356 residents had been hospitalized with COVID-19, surpassing the previous record of 5,308 hospitalizations on December 15, 2020.

At a Dec. 22 briefing, city officials gathered to share local COVID-19 numbers, urge vaccination and plead with residents to reconsider indoor holiday gatherings to slow the spread of the virus. virus. At the time, city health commissioner Dr. Melba Moore said 69% of the Cincinnati area had been vaccinated, but breakthrough cases of COVID-19 are occurring in part because of the large number unvaccinated people who can easily transmit the virus and because the virus continues to mutate.

On December 24, outgoing Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 after coming into contact with someone who had the virus. Cranley said he experienced mild symptoms, largely attributed to his full vaccination and recall.

Leaders of regional hospital systems have said for months that they are under severe pressure due to COVID-19. Exhausted healthcare workers fear another coronavirus spike like the one that devastated the country last winter.

During a Dec. 15 press conference with Hamilton County officials, Dr. Richard Lofgren, president and CEO of UC Health, said COVID-19 continues to be a big threat in the region.

“If there’s one message I have that’s highlighted in the data, it’s that this pandemic isn’t over. It’s active and alive and in fact overwhelming our health systems,” said Lofgren.

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Mildred D. Field