Charleston, South Carolina – Across the U.S. 56% of Children’s Museums have closed either temporarily or permanently. Locally, the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML) said they are facing a similar fate.
Closed from the pandemic in March, the museum said they took a large monetary hit.
“A lot of people don’t realize that we are a non-profit organization, but we are primarily funded through our revenue source. So that length of closure had been very difficult for us financially.”
With the financial struggles, came the notion to re-open in a limited capacity. The museum began hosting camps in June that serviced 400 in total, but the camps were not enough.
They then opened up July 19th for weekends and initially some evenings. However, the revenue for the evenings did not even out, so they decided to cut back again. They now are open on the weekends for what they call play-dates, which involves reservations ahead of time.
CML also opened ‘School-seum’—where those who are in CCSD’s virtual learning during the week and have working parents can safely learn.
Despite the different additions and precautions taken, the museum was forced to face a number of lay-offs. Now, they plan to take a different form of action to keep up and running. Nichole Myles, the Executive Director, will be pledging to run 100 miles in 30 days.
“I can’t just stand by and let something go. So I am quite literally wiling to run for it.to We have a $25,000 goal—the honest truth is that we need quite a lot more than that. But we are really hoping that we will be one of those crowd-funding campaigns where you see the goal and you see how much they raised and because everybody will come together and pitch in. We really do believe in the unexpected—we believe in potential. That’s what we do here.”
As for how long the museum actually has left, they said they cannot answer that at this time. But they would potentially have to look into a second round of lay-offs if they do not get the money that they are hoping to get funded