A $200,000 grant will help the Longmont Museum recover from being closed twice in 2020 and forced to operate at reduced capacity because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant comes from the Colorado Arts Relief Program through Colorado Creative Industries and was accepted under an agreement approved this month by the Longmont City Council.
The grant preserves the museum’s unique position as the largest museum in Boulder County and as a place that nurtures arts and creative ventures in the area, said Kim Manajek, museum director via email.
“As an interdisciplinary institution, we are able to incubate creatives of all kinds through exhibitions, lectures and conversations, poetry readings, performances, artist commissions, teaching opportunities and more,” Manajek said in her application to the Colorado Arts Relief Program.
“Through our record of high-quality art and history exhibits, school-readiness programs, dynamic public programs, and our longstanding Day of the Dead celebration, we are leaders in the areas’ arts and cultural landscape,” Manajek said.
“We add to the quality of life,” she adds, “and are able to help Longmont attract business and talent.”
The funds allows the museum to increase the hours for two existing positions: museum Registrar (Aileen Jijina) and the museums Rentals Coordinator (Jim Fladmark), and to rehire a fixed-term, full-time Visitor Services Assistant, Manajek said via email.
Jijina coordinates the logistics of shipping and completes all the museum contracts with artists, as well as cataloging, condition reporting, and documenting Museum and Art in Public Places collections, Manajek said. She also assists in installing exhibits, making mounts for objects and art handling.
Fladmark is key to the functionality of the museum’s rental program — problem solving and coordinating with clients, caterers and guests at rental events, Manajek said.
“The newly created full-time Visitor Services Assistant will be a leadership role in our front desk staff that provides excellent customer service and a seamless operation for the guest experience at the Museum,” she said.
The Colorado Arts Relief Fund grants are open to Colorado-based for-profit, nonprofit and government organizations or businesses involved in the music, theater, dance, visual arts, literary arts or film industry, according to the program.
The grant aims to help arts, culture and businesses avoid permanent closures caused by COVID-19 and to retain or rehire employees and to “preserve community cultural assets affected by COVID-19,” according to a staff report to the city council.
Following public orders, the Longmont Museum closed its doors twice during the pandemic; first on March 13 and reopening July 7, 2020; and again November 19 and reopening Dec. 15, 2020, according to the staff report.
Until recently, the museum operated at reduced capacity and hours, the report states.