Support Cultural Heritage
As everyone is aware, the world is experiencing changes in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. Restaurants, stores, and non-essential businesses are closing including cultural sites and institutions. Employees are loosing jobs and/or hours, and small businesses are suffering. Tourism is suffering along with the communities that rely on tourism and tourism-related activities. Below are several resources for you to consider supporting to limit the risk to our cultural heritage at this time.
Because this is a site devoted to cultural heritage, the below list is not comprehensive of all the ways one can assist during this hectic time. Furthermore, there are certainly more ways not listed here to support more immediate and pressing needs in your community (for example volunteering or donating to services that provide food to the elderly who cannot leave their homes, such as Meals on Wheels or giving blood).
In addition, when purchasing food, supplies, and recreational items online during your social isolation period, please consider supporting local businesses in your community that are offering delivery or pick-up orders instead of purchasing from chain stores. Another option is to purchase gift cards now from your local stores and restaurants to use at a later date to offer support when funds are limited for these establishments.
Small cultural institutions such as historic houses, galleries, local museums, and theaters have closed to avoid further spreading of the virus. Without visitor fees to support historic movable and/or immovable cultural heritage as well as the employees who oversee and maintain the heritage, pieces of our heritage may be at risk.
Please visit the websites for the cultural institutions in your community and provide a donation, if possible.
Additionally, national and global institutions are also in need of support at this time. These groups raise funds to support the preservation, conservation, safeguarding, and maintenance of heritage sites around the world, as well as the communities nearby the heritage sites. Please also consider donations and/or memberships to these groups that rely heavy on tourism and donations to support the work and the local communities.
- World Monuments Fund
- Global Heritage Fund
- ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments and Sites) and US/ICOMOS
- Blue Shield International
Support the Tourism Industry
As mentioned above, tourism is suffering from the repercussions of the virus due to the required social isolation, canceled flights, and closure of cultural instantiation and heritage sites. Some estimate that the travel industry could suffer a loss of 25% in 2020 as a result. Places that depend heavily on tourism, such as cities in Mexico and Venice, are reporting significant losses and projections for further loss.
In light of the crisis and affect on the tourism industry, please consider postponing your planned trips instead of cancelling.
While supporting cultural institutions is critical at this time, it is also a perfect time to explore the cultural resources available to you digitally. Many institutions offer virtual tours, online galleries, and digital archives to provide people around the world the opportunity to explore cultural heritage no matter where you live. Take this time of social isolation to learn more about heritage offered to you from your computer with no travel needed.
Several online tours and resources are listed below:
- Guggenheim Museum, NYC
- J. Paul Getty Museum, L.A.
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
- The British Museum, London
- The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
- Uffizi Gallery in Florence
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris
- The Louvre, Paris
- Pergamon Museum, Berlin
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
- MASP, São Paulo
- National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
- Getty Virtual Library, L.A.
- Virtual shows at The Metropolitan Opera, NYC
- New York Public Library Digital Collection
- Google Arts & Culture