Last updated: 24 March 2021
As we all adjust to the rapidly changing effects of COVID-19 on the museum and gallery sector, we have collated the most useful resources in one place, and will continue to update this resource over time. If there is something that is not covered in the information below, you can reach out to M&G NSW staff who are working from home and are contactable via email and phone – details here.
If you are looking for ways to get your cultural fix, see our article Engaging with Museums, Galleries and Keeping Places in the Time of Social Distancing which has recommendations on virtual programs run by museums and galleries; virtual tours; online archives and collections; libraries; and learning opportunities.
For official updates on advice and regulations, please visit the appropriate government websites.
What you can and can’t do under the rules – NSW Government
This webpage outlines how public health orders affect what is open, closed or restricted. Guidelines for galleries, museums and libraries can be found under the heading ‘Community facilities and cultural buildings.’ Visit website
3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia – Australian Government Department of Health
This clear infographic outlines the 3 stages of restrictions for various industries. Find information on museums and galleries under the heading ‘Entertainment & Amusement Venues.’ Visit website
Service NSW COVID-19 Hotline
The NSW Government has launched a dedicated 24/7 hotline for people and businesses to access COVID-19 advice and support that is not health-related. Call 13 77 88 for the Service NSW Hotline. Read more
For the latest updates, Clinical advice, FAQ’s and Resources Read more
Create NSW – COVID-19 updates
As the COVID-19 situation is changing constantly, Create NSW remains open and available for support. Information is being updated on a regular basis. Read more
COVID-19 and the arts—frequently asked questions
Compiled by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications – Read more
The NSW Government has stated that museums, galleries and libraries may open as of 1 June. However there are still several important precautions that must be taken to ensure that staff, volunteers and visitors are COVID safe. Here are some resources that may assist when planning your re-opening:
NSW Government – Industry Guidelines – Museums and Galleries
Develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your museum or gallery to help get your business back to work. Under Public Health Orders, you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how your business will keep your customers and workers safe. Read more
Planning tool to help businesses reopen and be COVIDSafe
Online planning tool to help businesses develop a plan to keep their workers, customers and the community safe as they reopen. Read more
Planning to re-open
Museums & Galleries of NSW have compiled a comprehensive resource for museums and galleries to assist with the process of re-opening.
Our document includes links to official Government advice; developing a timeline and strategy for re-opening; precautions to make your space COVID safe; ways to support staff and volunteers; and links to useful resources. Read more
Reopening Strategies and Tips
Museums & Galleries Queensland held an online panel that shared strategies and tips to help facilitate a safe and successful reopening. View the recording
Museum and Gallery Reopening webinar – video documentation
This Create NSW webinar, recorded 29 May 2020, brought together guests from NSW Health and the NSW arts and cultural sector to talk through the important details related to re-opening, including health guidelines and updates to public health orders. View the recording
American Alliance of Museums (AAM) – Preparing to re-open
The American Alliance of Museums recommends that museums build flexible plans for reopening that are regularly reviewed and refined based on the latest science. View and download the AAM’s advice on preparing to re-open museums Read more.
NMDC Good Practice Guidelines on Opening Museums
Published by the National Museum Directors’ Council (NMDC) with support from DCMS and the Museums and Galleries Working Group, these guidelines are intended to help employers, employees and the self-employed, and volunteers in the museum sector in England understand how to work safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Download
Cuseum has several webinars available on re-opening planning including Preparing to Reopen – Strategy, Planning & Process on the Road to Reopening Museums and Planning for Reopening after Coronavirus.
‘Waking Up’ Collections: A Post-lockdown Guide
With museum and heritage organisations necessarily closed during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown, collections are being held dormant for a significant period, increasing the risk of general deterioration caused by the environment, pollutants and pests, as well as reduced levels of preventive monitoring and control.
This ICOM checklist and guide outlines how to address collection conservation issues that might have occurred during this time. Read more
Justice Connect has created a range of initiatives to respond to COVID-19, providing legal help to community organisations affected by the pandemic. View it here
Playbook: Reopening Museums and Cultural Attractions – Succeeding in the Post-COVID Era with Thoughtful Digital Tools
This playbook developed by Cuseum is the culmination of hundreds of hours of research, real-world experience, and conversations with museum professionals around the world. Download the Playbook
Grants, loans and financial assistance
There are a variety of organisations offering financial opportunities and support during this time. Here is a list of websites to look at for more information:
Create NSW – COVID-19 support for NSW small-medium arts and screen sector
Create NSW has announced new funding initiatives and the repurposing of existing funding totalling $6.34 million to support independent artists and small to medium arts, screen and cultural organisations impacted by COVID-19. Read more
Service NSW – Grants, loans and financial assistance
Eligible small to medium arts, screen, and cultural organisations affected by COVID-19 can apply for grants up to $10,000 as part of the NSW Government’s newly announced Small Business Support Fund. Applications to open from 17 April. Read more
Guide to Government COVID-19 Assistance for the Arts
This guide sets out various assistance initiatives that are being provided by Federal and State/Territory governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
The Australia Council has announced its first Response Package to support artists, arts practitioners, arts groups and arts organisations coping with the impact of COVID-19. Read more
2020 Resilience Fund
The Australia Council 2020 Resilience Fund is designed to provide emergency relief to support the livelihoods, practice and operations of Australian artists, groups and organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
Copyright Agency – Emergency Action Funding
Copyright Agency has released $375,000 and brought forward $1.8m in Cultural Fund grants in COVID-19 support. Read more
Support for organisations affected by COVID-19
The Australian Government has announced measures to assist businesses and employers affected by COVID-19. Compiled by NAVA. Read more
Putting works online: COVID-19 FAQs for Artists and Arts Organisations
If you are busy moving exhibitions, performances and events online but aren’t sure about what that might mean for artists’ copyright or your contractual obligations this FAQ from Arts Law is for you. Reads more
Collection and building care during closure
Even when closed to the public, museum and gallery buildings and collections require care. Here are some important things to consider:
Practical things you can do while your museum is closed due to COVID-19
Having a museum closed for an indefinite time provides an opportunity to focus on the tasks that are often too difficult to do whilst focusing on visitor needs. Read more
With spaces temporarily empty due to COVID-19, there is potential for increased pest activity. Read more here
Security & Maintenance
Museums Aotearoa have released a useful summary of aspects to consider when organising security and access to collections during this period. Read it here
Closed by COVID-19?
A Practice Guide for managers of heritage collections that are closed at short notice because of an epidemic or pandemic.
The Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM) has released an extensive and practical guide for small organisations, to ensure that collections are not neglected during times of closure. View the guide here
Caring for Collections during Closure
Join AMaGA Victoria, Grimwade Conservation Services and Margaret Birtley AM, for a webinar on how to best care for collections with limited access. This session will explore and expand on the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material’s (AICCM) valuable ‘Closed by COVID’ resource. The Grimwade team will share practical advice and respond to questions about caring for specific materials at a distance. The panellists will also look to the coming months and discuss returning to work, preparing for reopening and the ongoing ramifications of COVID-19 on collection care. Find out more
Collections care in lockdown: 5 weeks on – livestream Q&A
The event will be streamed live via the Collections Trust YouTube channel on Tuesday 12 May from 14:00 BST. If you can’t join the event live, a catch up video will be available after the event. Find out more
Conservation of museum collections
The ICOM Committee for Conservation, has compiled a series of recommendations on how to deal with conservation during the COVID -19 emergency. Find out more
COVID-19 and Museum Volunteers
This American Alliance of Museum’s post addressed issues of safety, telecommuting, and reopening generally pertaining to museum volunteers in particular. Find out more
Engaging Audiences Digitally
The ability to engage with audiences and share insights through digital platforms and social media has been a saving grace during COVID-19 related closures.
Reopening Museums and Cultural Attractions: Succeeding in the Post-COVID Era with Thoughtful Digital Tools
Developed by Cuseum this playbook provides digital tools and solutions that will be a critical component to addressing new challenges around admissions, the visitor journey, and recovering visitors and revenue.
Resources to help museum people understand and use digital tools and channels, hand-picked by Culture24.
Find out more
How can digital platforms help museums connect to audiences during Covid-19 emergency
This article from Museums Association highlights various ways museums have sharing their work through online platforms. Read it here
Live streaming from the gallery? How Museums are using Facebook Live
Facebook Live has gone beyond the hype with millions of people enjoying live video on the social network every day. For museums Facebook Live is perhaps the easiest place to try live streaming, offering an simple platform that is linked to an existing audience of ‘fans.’ Find out more
Engaging with Museums, Galleries and Keeping Places in the Time of Social Distancing
See what other organisations are doing to keep their audiences engaged online in our comprehensive article collating virtual tours, online programs, community projects, online archives and collections, music and podcasts, and learning resources. Read here
Safe COVID Cleaning for Collections
M&G NSW partnered with International Conservation Services and Sydney Living Museums to present a webinar on the importance and risks of COVID cleaning. Hear from experts about how to approach regular and, if necessary, deep cleans of historic properties and collections. View the webinar
Contactless” Future: Reimagining the Visitor Experience in the Era of Coronavirus
Join Brendan Ciecko (CEO and Founder @ Cuseum), Andrea Montiel de Shuman (Digital Experience Designer @ Detroit Institute of Arts), Atiba Edwards (Executive VP & COO @ Brooklyn Children’s Museum) & Don Undeen (Former Senior Manager of MediaLab @ Metropolitan Museum of Art) as they explore the evolving “visitor experience” and what the “contactless” future may hold. This webinar examines the merits of digital media, emerging technologies, and more! View the webinar
Coronavirus Conversations: Workforce Wellbeing
Part of a series of webinars the Museums Association (MA) in the UK is running for its members in response to the Covid-19 crisis. View the webinar
Preparing to Reopen – Strategy, Planning & Process on the Road to Reopening Museums
Join Brendan Ciecko (CEO and Founder @ Cuseum), Mark Sabb (Senior Director of Innovation, Marketing & Engagement @ Museum of African Diaspora), Holly Shen (Deputy Director @ San Jose Museum of Art) & Ellen Busch (Director of Historic Sites Operations @ Texas Historical Commission) as they talk through the strategy, operations, process, and planning involved in reopening your museum successfully. This webinar explores strategic planning, design thinking, and innovative approaches to welcoming your audiences back. View the webinar
Thinking Outside the Box to Reach Audiences Inside Their Homes
Join Brendan Ciecko (CEO & Founder @ Cuseum), Sloan MacRae (Marketing Director @ Carnegie Museum of Natural History), & Caitlin Kearney (Digital Content & Engagement Manager @ The Field Museum) as they discuss what sorts of digital strategies, workflows, and channels are allowing them to effectively target and attract audiences beyond the walls of their museums. View the webinar
How To Captivate, Connect, And Communicate With Your Audience During Coronavirus
Join Brendan Ciecko (CEO & Founder @ Cuseum), with special guests Susan Edwards (Associate Director, Digital Content @ Hammer Museum) and Koven Smith (Museum & Nonprofit Digital Strategy Consultant), as they talk about steps cultural organisations can take to captivate, connect, and communicate with their remote “visitors” and audiences. These experts do a deep-dive into digital communication strategies, creatively leveraging social media channels, and establishing a community without a physical space to gather in. View the webinar
How to Craft Meaningful and Mindful Digital Content in the Age of Coronavirus
Join Brendan Ciecko (CEO & Founder @ Cuseum), Ryan Dodge (Head of Digital Experiences @ Canadian Museum of History), and Kat Harding (Public Relations & Social Media Manager @ North Carolina Museum of Art) as they discuss how to develop effective content and messaging that aligns with your organization’s mission while resonating in the hearts and minds of audiences.
View the webinar
How To Keep Your Audience Engaged, Entertained, And Inspired In The Age Of Coronavirus
Cuseum’s Brendan Ciecko, with special guests Seema Rao (Deputy Director & Chief Experience Officer @ Akron Art Museum), and Scott Stulen (Director & President @ Philbrook Museum of Art), to discuss steps cultural organisations can take to engage their audiences digitally and continue their important work as trusted community resources during this public health and economic crisis, even when physical sites remain in lockdown. View the webinar
How Museums Can Experiment with Social Media to Boost Audience Engagement During Coronavirus
Brendan Ciecko (CEO & Founder @ Cuseum), Hilary-Morgan Watt (Digital Engagement Manager @ Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden), & Emily Haight (Social Media Manager @ New-York Historical Society)talk through the ways museums can begin experimenting with social media, hashtags, digital outreach, and other means to boost engagement among their audiences. These experts discuss some of the most successful online experiments in recent times, as well as talk through the steps to execute creative ideas from inception to completion. View the webinar
Arts Law & Holding Redlich: Navigating arts employment through COVID-19
Is your arts organisation steering through the choppy waters of employment law in these “unprecedented times”? Are you navigating questions around staffing levels and salaries in the face of a substantially changed creative sector? Join Arts Law and employment law experts Holding Redlich for this webinar exploring employment law issues as we navigate our way through the current pandemic.
Tuesday 26 May, 11am – 12pm, $35
Create Connects – Arts and Culture webinar series
This series is aimed to engage with artists and organisations in new thinking around the delivery of artistic programs, exhibitions, performances, content and critical discourse.
The series will demystify digital platforms and to explore alternative opportunities for monetising content in this challenging new environment.
Monday 27 April 2020 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Episode 1: Before You Launch: Arts and Culture Organisations and Digital Capacity.
Find out more
Creative Connections is an online webinar series developed by the Australia Council for the cultural and arts sectors and will offer practical, accessible and useful content delivered by industry experts on key topics and emerging themes. Read more
Adjusting to working remotely, as many people are doing during COVID-19, can be challenging. Here are a few resources that can assist:
Working from home tools for arts organisations
Artshub has compiled a list of digital toolkit to help you work remotely with your team or collaborators. Read more
Zoom user guide
This thorough guide produced by the University of Queensland includes: How to download, install and configure Zoom; organising a Zoom meeting; How to schedule, start or end a Zoom meeting; and more. Find out more
Free collection image Zoom backgrounds
The Chau Chak Wing Museum has put together a pack of 10 background images to use in your next Zoom meeting! Choose bat wings from the natural history collection, a stunning artwork or a 19th century visit to the Parthenon. Find out more
Loom is a screen recording tool that allows you to capture your screen, voice, and face and instantly share your video in less time than it would take to type an email.
Find out more