When the Great Lakes Children’s Museum shut down on March 16, 2020, the public lost access to the facility. That also left close to 600 member families who had paid for a year of free Museum access uncertain about what would happen to their membership. Would the Museum allow memberships to expire?
No worries! GLCM’s strategic value of integrity guides us to always do the right thing, even when it is hard. In this case, in March, staff decided the right thing was to suspend membership expirations for as long as it would take to reopen the Museum. Obviously, no one could foresee it was going to be seven months – almost to the day. We are excited to announce that with the Museum scheduled to reopen for general admission on October 14, all memberships will officially resume!
What exactly does that mean? For a person whose membership was set to expire on March 15, 2020 (the day before we closed)- your membership is expired. For a person whose membership was set to expire on March 16, 2020 (the day we closed), your membership has been active since the shutdown but it will expire on October 14, 2020 (the day the Museum reopens). If your membership expiration was on May 1, 2020 (44 days after we closed), your new expiration has been moved to November 19, 2020 (approximately 44 days after the Museum reopens). There are folks whose memberships were purchased the day prior to the closing – those memberships are now valid into October of 2021. Membership renewal reminders have resumed as of October. Members with expiration dates between October 15 and October 30 may have already seen their renewal reminders via mail.
Under the current Covid-19 operational protocols our capacity is limited to 25% of normal (or 72 people). Even though in a “typical year” GLCM isn’t likely to see 72 people coming into the Museum all on the same day in the Fall, members will need to reserve their spots in advance so we can make sure we stay under that capacity number. When registering, you will input how many member adults and children will be attending on your visit. Staff will check the membership expiration date on check-in and if the membership has expired, will let you know. You’ll be able to renew if you like, or convert your admission to the non-member rate for that day. If you’re curious about your current adjusted expiration date, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a quick answer.
Prior to the pandemic, membership dollars represented an important 10% of the funds used to make learning-through-play available to the community. With admissions numbers sinking nationally to approximately 10% to 15% of “normal,” membership dollars will be critical in keeping the facility, the mobile museum outreach, and the new weekly virtual program offerings going. Please, if it is within your financial capacity, consider just how important your membership dollars are to keeping the Great Lakes Children’s Museum in our community- especially now.
Thank you for being part of the Museum family. We hope to see you back soon!