AUSTIN, Texas - As the City of Austin celebrated Austin Museum Day, things looked a little different because of the pandemic.
Many of the museums that would typically participate in the celebration hosted events virtually this year. But, directors said even with COVID-19 playing a major role in the day, it doesn’t lessen the importance of the reason to celebrate.
Directors said they were trying to make Sunday a teachable moment for those in the community, a moment for those to take a step back and learn about the history of the place they’re living in.
The Neill-Cochran House held in-person activities. Throughout the day, the had re-enactments, socially distanced tours, and contemporary art to browse through.
The museum's executive director Rowena Dasch said connecting to Austin’s past can only make the city grow stronger.
“So much of Austin is new and modern and shiny and everybody is all about the next new restaurant, the next big hotel, and we've lost so much of our past from the standpoint of actually being able to engage with it and not just in a book,” Dasch said.
Ken Richardson is the Executive Director for the Millett Opera House; they were also giving in-person guided tours on Sunday. Visitors would first watch a short video, then tour the historic building.
Richardson says for years he watches people pass by the space and not realize the significance of the establishment.
“Because of the history of this building there is probably not another building other than the State Capitol that has as much history as this building has because this was the cultural center for the city of Austin from 1878 to the turn of the century,” Richardson said. “If it happened in Austin, it happened in this building.”
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