May 2020

#DearMuseums Week 2: Anxiety

Welcome to the second week of #DearMuseums! 

This initiative seeks to document and share stories about how this global crisis is affecting people and their work as museum educators. Tune in to our blog, Facebook, and Twitter every Monday for selected submissions that capture the current climate through museum educator’s eyes. This week’s theme is “Anxiety.”

 In this 1918 photograph of American Red Cross Canteen workers, adults wearing face masks are standing near or sitting in a car. An adult on the right side of the image is looking down at a child, who is sitting on the side of the car and drinking a beverage.
Submitted anonymously. Note from MER: We were curious about this image and found it here. The photograph depicts American Red Cross Canteen workers in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1918.
This text is white on a blue background. “Dear my dearest museums, This is a hard feeling to stomach. At first I was longing to get back to you. To be among colleagues, visitors, artifacts, and history. But with each new day that goes by, I become more afraid to go back to you. That feeling of dread is one I never thought I'd feel, and it hurts my heart.”
Submitted anonymously. Visuals were created by Taylor Jeromos.

Up until this week I have felt a certain “getting to the light at the end of the tunnel.” I felt that, even though I knew better, there would be a switch that would flip and life would return to normal. I would get back to the Museum and see my people (Lesson learned- I do actually miss being around the people I work with) and start thinking of adjusting- still doing everything the same just on a delay. This week, however, I feel a strong case of “the unknowns.” I am feeling more uncertain about what exactly I will be going back to- am I going back? My position is based solely on groups of people coming to the Museum…. will my superior see my value and either adjust my position or even keep me employed? I will be honest, I haven’t heard much from our director, or my direct supervisor through this. I know they are busy and they don’t have the answers either- but just some kind of word that is directly from them- not from other staff who heard something from someone else (amazing how the rumor telephone game still exists even when social distancing). I want some kind of direction, some point north to look towards. I know Museums will play a pivotal role in our communities in both the near and far futures but right now I am feeling a little shakey.”  – Submitted anonymously.



To submit your own responses or ideas (written, audio, visual submissions all encouraged) please email [email protected].