Behind the Scenes at the GMD, April 13, 2020

Posted by Jacquie Persson on Monday, April 13, 2020

It has been 4 full weeks since the Bluedorn Science Imaginarium closed to the public; the Friends of the Grout Historic Houses St. Patrick’s Brunch set for March 15 was cancelled;  and the Grout Museum/Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum closed at noon on St. Patrick’s Day. The world is a very different place today. 

The day-to-day tasks of the Grout staff and board members have shifted, but the work continues.

The last few weeks were filled with discussions about PPP Loans (Payroll Protection Program), EIDL Loans (Economic Injury Disaster Loan). Thanks to the efforts of Diane Popelka, our PPP loan (which is forgivable, with certain conditions) was submitted on Saturday, April 4 and we were notified of our approval on Tuesday, April 7. There are still a few details to take care of, but these funds will provide much-needed relief to the Grout’s finances. Thank you to Diane, the Executive Committee and Jason Kuehner at Community Bank. 

The following departments continue to collaborate on weekly videos: IT, Education, Collections, Marketing and Exhibits. You can see the results on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, to name a few. The Marketing Department is working to keep the Museum District in the public eye through daily social media posts, as well as updates to the website and creating a podcast (coming soon!).

The Development staff have submitted two grants this past week and have made numerous contacts (calls and emails) with donors. 

The Education Department is also coordinating some major cleaning and organizing; the Education, Costume Closets and Classroom at the Grout Museum, and lower level vault at the Imaginarium. 

William Bisbee has been deep cleaning and repairing exhibits at the Imaginarium. William and staff have also been placing large cut-outs from old exhibits in downtown Waterloo windows.

Several museums around the country have stepped forward to donate much-needed protective gear that is used in handling some collections or during exhibit work. The Grout’s Exhibit and Collections staff gathered a few masks, shoe covers, nitrile and latex gloves, which were donated to Unity Point Health. 

About The Author

Jacquie is the Art Director for the Grout Museum District in Waterloo.