By Trinity Martin
The Morgan-Madison Cultural Center is back in business after closing its doors for 143 days.
After considering safety guidelines surrounding COVID-19, the center decided to open back up for the community with precautions in place on Aug. 6.
“We followed the executive orders of the governor, and the local governances of the city and county,” said executive director Kim Brown. “People are wearing masks, sanitizing their hands, and we have a thermometer. We ask people to not enter if they’re feeling sick, and we have certain parts of the center that we can’t clean often enough that are sectioned off.”
The center is also limiting group sizes to 10 and under, but not currently charging an admissions fee. Instead they ask for donations in support of the museum.
What was once only available for viewing online, Cynthia Perryman’s exhibit “Lambs to Lilies” can now be viewed in person at the Cultural Center.
The virtual gallery is still available, along with many other new online programs the museum has created such as the “performing arts at home” video clips.
“We’ve had a lot of good feedback,” Liz Moore, Marketing Coordinator, said.
The Cultural Center has extended its virtual opportunities even more, having just closed a deal with a Madison-based filmmaker, Jeffery Vernon.
“We are very excited about a project we just signed off on,” Brown said. “We are working with a young Madison filmmaker. It’s a collaborative effort and they are going to produce three virtual concerts.”
Titled “Opening Night,” the production will feature musical performers from across the south, including local Madison favorites Justin Huff and Campbell Harrison, and will also include private interviews that will give viewers the opportunity to get to know the participants. The show will be produced by Vernon, a student at the University of Georgia, along with Aaliyah Payo, director of photography, Trevor Thrift, camera operator, and audio engineers Michael Van Wagenen and Brad Hagin.
“I’m happy that I’m making something, that my team is making something, that will make people happy,” Vernon said.
The project consists of pre-recording, editing, and then releasing performances so viewers receive a quality product.
“I wanted to make the best virtual concert. The livestreams, for me, were not engaging. It’s like you tuned in and you see the artist performing, but then you get all this other stuff too, like ‘oh, I got to tune my guitar,’ or,’ my dog just walked by.’ And, it’s great and it does have an intimacy, but it’s not as professional and engaging,” Vernon said.
Tickets will be available for purchase before the production is posted to the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center’s website in October, but until then, put on your mask, sanitize your hands and give the now open museum a visit.