TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- Many museums are working through the negative impact of the pandemic. The Terre Haute's Children's Museum has started offering something new to help the community, while also ensuring revenue comes through.
It's called the Museum Academy.
To try to boost revenue the museum started a learning program as students work remotely. It offers a place to complete work while receiving some help. The program has been in place for about one month and so far the museum has had a lot of positive feedback.
The museum is seeing success with this program but they may run into trouble when school's return full time in the classroom. Right now Vigo County Schools are set to return back full time in the classroom.
Turner said this program was difficult to make, but she's very happy to have filled that need for the community. She said, "To have to completely switch the way we think about things is probably the most difficult task. But it's been a really good exercise for us."
The staff members are very happy to have kids back in the building again. Tuner said, "The museum is meant to be a place that's busy, and vibrant, and full of life, and so it's been nice to have that back for a little bit."
They made this program because many people haven't been visiting the museum since the pandemic hit. Executive Director Susan Turner said the museum is only seeing 23% of average visitors.
The Terre Haute Children's Museum closed for the three months when the pandemic hit. It turns out those three months happened to be during a time they would have seen the most visitors.
During the closing, the museum lost over $200,000. That is equal to 30% of what their budget is for the year.
Turner said, "We've had to limit our hours because I can't afford to pay staff, so we're only open Saturdays and Sundays and those days are not very busy."
Right now Turner says she is uncertain of what the future might hold for the Children's Museum, but she remains optimistic.
She said, "I believe in the Terre Haute Children's Museum, I believe in this community, I believe in our business community, we are a strong community. We're going to survive this."
Turner says meetings are taking place daily talking about what the future holds for this museum.
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