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When Maine’s best-known museum reopens next week, it will be “very different”

The challenges of the last year have created “a moment of reckoning”

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Museum of Art is ready to reopen. It will welcome the public back on March 25, but things won’t be quite the way they were before the pandemic.

For starters, it’s a partial reopening. The museum will limit how many people can come inside and require that all visits be scheduled in advance.

When folks come back, says PMA director Mark Bessire, it will be “a very different museum.” Being closed to the public for part of the past twelve months gave the staff an opportunity to look hard at what the museum does well and what it does not. “The Covid crisis and social justice movement have really taught museums a lot of lessons,” Bessire told 207. “It has been a moment of reckoning across the country for museums.”

What are some of the changes that visitors will notice? And how will the museum reach out to people who have typically stayed away from it? Watch our interview with Bessire to learn more.