BYU Museum of Art reopens after being closed since March

The BYU Museum of Art reopened on Aug. 17 to the public after being closed since March. Masks are required for people visiting the MOA. (Hannah Miner)

Fall Semester is approaching and many things on the BYU campus are starting to open back up. The BYU Museum of Art reopened to not only students, faculty and staff but also the general public on Aug. 17.

MOA spokesperson Kylie Brooks said the first week of opening since March went very well. “We’ve been really excited to reopen and we were pleased that it went so well.”

Even with the new protocols such as requiring face masks and social distancing, Brooks said there have been no problems with people following them. “People are more than happy to do what it takes in order to participate at the museum,” she said.

Brooks said August is usually a slower month for the MOA, considering tourism generally starts slowing down as campus is getting ready for fall semester. So far the numbers of visitors at the MOA since it’s been open have been comparable to those of past Augusts.

“So that was really exciting to see,” Brooks said. “It showed us, the museum, that people care about the museum, they care about seeing what we have.”

Besides masks being required and social distancing rules, there are some changes taking place. The building will be constantly cleaned by student janitors. All in-person events and lectures have been moved online, and what used to be the south entrance of the MOA is now only an exit. Individuals must enter through the north side and exit through the south.

Another change is the adjusted hours of the MOA. The MOA will be open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — with Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon being reserved for the immunocompromised patrons — Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Those changes are partially because we don’t have in-person programming or events anymore like family home evening,” Brooks said. She said the MOA wanted to have one night open for people who are unable to visit during the day, and that’s why Friday closes a bit later than the other days at 8 p.m.

The MOA will continue to be open to the public in order to accommodate all of the MOA’s audiences. There will also be virtual events to serve people who can’t attend in person or feel safer that way.

As of right now, the MOA plans on being open through December, even when classes are remote. Brooks said the MOA operates under the College of Fine Arts and Communication and the University. So in the case that the school moves classes remote earlier than expected, the MOA will follow the college and the university’s directive.

Part of the approved plan presented by the MOA staff says there is a limit to how many people can be in the MOA at a time, keeping it well under the capacity of the fire marshal. So far since opening, the MOA hasn’t had enough people to have to closely monitor, but Brooks said if floods of people start coming in the fall they have plans to monitor and limit people coming in. “It’s a big space and I actually don’t foresee us needing that,” she said. “But if we do need it we’ll make that change and we’ll get the word out quick.”

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