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Mass MoCA will be the first Berkshire museum to reopen, opening its doors on July 11, followed by the Clark Art Institute and Norman Rockwell Museum on July 12.

Three Berkshire Museums Set to Reopen July 11-12

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Three of the largest museums in the Berkshires plan to reopen to visitors over the July 11-12 weekend, following Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s announcement permitting museums and other cultural organizations to resume operations.

The reopening schedule is as follows:

Mass MoCA will reopen on Saturday, July 11, with operating hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., six days per week, closed on Tuesdays. The Mass MoCA Store and Lickety Split cafe will be open during museum hours. Museum campus amenities, including a brewery, restaurants, take-out, and shopping are also available. Museum admission tickets are available on sale now. Performance tickets go on sale July 6. Visit the website to purchase tickets.

Norman Rockwell Museum will reopen on Sunday, July 12, with operating hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days per week, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Museum Store and Runaway Café will be open. Museum admission tickets go on sale July 7 at noon. Visit the website to purchase tickets.

• The Clark Art Institute will reopen its galleries on Sunday, July 12, with operating hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., six days per week, closed on Mondays. The Clark's grounds have been open throughout the shutdown period and remain open at all times. The Museum Store will be open, but food service is temporarily suspended. Museum admission tickets go on sale July 7. Visit the website to purchase tickets.

In a joint statement, the directors of the three museums — Laurie Norton Moffatt from Norman Rockwell Museum, Olivier Meslay from the Clark Art Institute and Joseph Thompson from Mass MoCA — wrote: "We are delighted to be able to reopen our doors and to welcome back our friends, neighbors, and new visitors. We strongly believe in the restorative power of art and cannot wait to share our galleries and grounds with our guests. We are committed to providing the safest experiences possible and have been working hard to ensure that our visitors will be comfortable in returning under new norms. Our visitors will be our partners in the shared responsibility to follow best practices to protect one another."

Advance ticket reservations will be required at each museum. Admission will be allocated on a timed basis to provide staggered entry, consistent with the state's reduced capacity guidelines.

The Clark's grounds remain open at no charge on a 24-hour basis; the grounds of the Norman Rockwell Museum are available to the public during operating hours, with no charge. Visitors may explore the Mass MoCA campus, including businesses housed within the former factory complex. Check individual websites for further details.

Programming at all three institutions will take new shapes and form, following Massachusetts guidelines. Live performances and events will resume at each venue on a rolling schedule and in new socially distant formats, while virtual programs will continue online to provide other opportunities for deeper engagement. The first live performance at Mass MoCA for the general public is scheduled for July 18. Events at Norman Rockwell Museum and the Clark will be announced at a later date.

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and recommendations from the Massachusetts Reopening Task Force, the three museums have all adopted the following protocols:

• Visitors must always wear face coverings when indoors and must use face coverings outdoors when unable to maintain at least six feet of social distancing space.

• Social distancing must be practiced in all indoor spaces. Security personnel and/or gallery guides will assist visitors in ensuring safe social distancing practices.

• Signage and/or other directional indicators will be in place to guide visitors through galleries and retail facilities. Visitors should expect new circulation patterns.

• Rigorous cleaning and sanitization practices of all public areas will occur throughout the day.

• Hand sanitizing stations will be provided to assist visitors in maintaining hand hygiene throughout their visit.

Each museum will comply with contact tracing protocols and will collect visitor information for this purpose.

Additional information is featured on each museum’s website regarding health and safety protocols to assist in planning a visit. All reopening dates are subject to change, pending further guidance from state or federal officials.

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield has not announced its reopening plans as of Thursday afternoon. The county's other major museum, the Williams College Museum of Art, will be closed to the public throughout the remainder of 2020. In nearby Bennington, Vt., the Bennington Museum is opening this Friday, July 3.

Tags: Clark Art,   mass moca,   museum,   norman rockwell museum,   

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No Baystate Winter Games Figure Skating in Williamstown this Year

WOBURN, Mass. -- After spending the last 35 years in the Berkshires, the Bay State Winter Games Figure Skating competition will not take place in Williamstown in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This decision was based on the Bay State Games overriding concern to protect the health and safety of all participants, coaches, judges, volunteers, and spectators. Other factors that lead to this decision include state guidelines limiting public events, the uncertainty of whether the Williams College Lansing Chapman Rink will open in 2021, current limitations on use of Williams College facilities by outside groups and protocol requirements from national figure skating governing bodies.
“It is with great disappointment that we announce we will be unable to host the Bay State Games figure skating competition in Williamstown in 2021,”  Bay State Games Executive Director Kevin Cummings said. “For the last 35 years, it has been a privilege to bring skaters and their families to Berkshire County for this longtime winter tradition. While our participants have always enjoyed travelling to the region for the event which has had a positive economic impact for local hotels and restaurants, many factors related to the pandemic prevent us from returning in the Winter of 2021”.
Bay State Games will continue to evaluate the possibility of hosting a live skating event in Massachusetts later in 2021 or as part of the Summer Games should the impact of the pandemic and restrictions improve. Potentially hosting virtual skating events later in the year is also under consideration. Future event options for 2021 are being investigated as federal, state, and local board of health protocols continue to be monitored. Bay State Games remains hopeful it can return to Berkshire County for 2022 events and beyond.
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