As I write this from my desk at home, I’m compelled to acknowledge that so much has changed—at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), in our community, and at home. Five weeks ago, we closed our doors to the public, enabled staff to work from the safety of their homes, and began bringing our offerings online in a digital museum to meet you where you are. The COVID-19 pandemic is something that none of us could have possibly imagined.
Though much has changed, our mission to encourage everyone to see art as an incentive for genuine human interaction, communication, and exchange, remains constant. We’ve been busy bringing art online with virtual tours, art-making activities for kids of all ages, and educational resources for teachers, students, and parents. Within this last month, we’ve also pivoted and brought many of our in-person programs online, like our artist-led Local Views tours, the Scholl Lecture Series (which featured a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Jerry Saltz), and a PAMM Teen Arts Council virtual takeover of PAMM Free Second Saturdays. We are now, more than ever, dedicated to fulfilling our mission to our community.
Incredibly, this period of social distancing may be bringing many of us closer together—the optimism of the internet’s early days finally fulfilled, as we have taken to meaningful online social lives. Within that growing online ecosystem, the arts continue to be the vibrant force we need.
Art, in its many forms, has a unique power to bring us together. When this pandemic is behind us, we will need that power more than at any time I can remember. Not only because we’ll have spent so much time in isolation, but because art helps us to process and understand, to come to grips with what we have collectively endured and the uncertainty that permeates our current shared situation.
Just over the past few weeks we have seen institutions nationwide make painful operating decisions in the face of unprecedented economic challenges. PAMM has also confronted this new reality and is adapting accordingly. We want art to be there for us when we emerge back into the physical world. And, at PAMM, we are committed to being your museum and making sure we are still here to connect the community to each other through the arts, for many generations to come.
Your past support has helped PAMM grow into a world-renowned center for the arts. We ask you now to recommit to supporting the museum as we navigate the coming months. Please consider re-joining as a PAMM member or making a donation today to help us ensure that we will be able to reopen our doors and welcome you back soon.
We are securing a better future now. Working with you, patrons, foundations, and governmental entities, we will reopen our doors one day, forever changed but continuing to do what we do best—encouraging everyone to see art as an incentive for genuine human interaction, communication, and exchange. Sharing the power of art and its unique ability to connect us in times of momentous change.