Valdez, Alaska, April 9, 2020 – The Valdez Museum along with the nation’s museum community is facing an existential threat from the closures required to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing this threat requires decisive action from the U.S. Congress beyond that contained in legislation enacted last month. Most museums anticipate closures and reduced visitorship through at least the end of 2020. Normal revenue from admissions fees, retail sales, and event rentals have effectively ceased, and charitable contributions are expected to continue to decline dramatically.

Here in Valdez, the Museum has served over 23,000 visitors, supports 12 jobs, and puts $1.3 million into our local community. As the global pandemic continues to unfold, we are hearing from the Cruise Line industry that they are starting to cancel ports of call. With oil prices dropping and now a down turn in the travel industry, small museums are hurting. And if that is not enough, Governor Dunleavy has mandated that all Museums, Libraries and Archives are to remain closed until further notice.

If the Valdez Museum is not able to open for business this summer we will lose over $231,000 in contributed and earned revenues. At this time we have laid off 1 part time employee. If we are not able to open up, additional staff cuts will occur. Any additional economic stimulus funds aimed at helping adversely affected industries and geographic areas must recognize the impact of the coronavirus crisis on Museums.

Now is the time to contact your legislators to let them know the issues we and the whole museum field are facing, and urge them to provide critical support for museums! Click on, ContactCongress for a direct link to the advocacy tool.

Patricia Relay, Executive Director                                      
Tel. 907-835-2764, Email: