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After COVID-19 pandemic hiatus, San Joaquin Valley-based Black museum reopens tonight for Arthop

Although the facility has been open year-round virtually, the public has not been inside for over 16 months

By ONME Newswire

The COVID-19 pandemic was a viscous, unwanted guest for many businesses and non-profit organizations who usually flourish from public contact--The African American Historical & Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley (AAHCMSJV) was one of those nonessential businesses forced to close its doors to the public for over a year.

It was in early March of 2020 at their last 2020 Census event when they found out the news of the eminent shutdown--fear and worry ran across board members on what to do about the situation. Current AAHCMSJV Board Chair Gregory Melancon said the timing was awkward and bewildering.

"We had just finished our annual Trailblazer fundraiser in February of 2020 where over 350 people attended," said Melancon. "As we were preparing for all of our next 2020 Census events in-person, the next thing we know we are shut down!"

Melancon said there was only one person on the Board at the time prepared for the new virtual world imposed upon the Black community so sudden; luckily that person is the owner of an online media network and was able to assist with events virtually, such as the Juneteenth and Kwanzaa events the AAHCMSJV was able to present online to the public.

The AAHCMSJV was also able to create a virtual tour presentation for students and the public, The Harlem Renaissance Virtual Exhibit, sponsored by EECU and Donaghy sales.

So after the long hiatus of over 16 months, and quite a bit of vandalism to the property, the AAHCMSJV is opening its doors again to the public, starting with tonight's Arthop,Thursday, October 7, from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Members of the public can reacquaint themselves with some of the work of local Black artists from throughout the Central Valley, meet new and veteran board members, or pick up a list of the upcoming calendar of events for the rest of the 2021 year, and events for the upcoming 2022 year.

The museum will enforce that all visitors and staff members follow safety regulations and protocols by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing regulations of 6-feet apart during the vent.



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