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Upcountry History Museum receives coronavirus aid, will reopen to the public on June 9

The Upcountry History Museum-Furman University, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is has been awarded an $11,000 Bridge Grant from South Carolina Humanities. Funding for the Bridge Grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan.

While Greenville’s Upcountry History Museum has been closed to the public since March 16 due to COVID-19, essential functions and maintenance have still been required. Grant funds have been earmarked for operational expenses to allow attention to be given to safeguarding the facility and collections, according to museum officials.

“The Museum deeply appreciates the commitment of South Carolina Humanities to recognize the value museums and other cultural organizations bring to communities,” said Museum CEO Dana L. Thorpe. “This grant affords us the opportunity to ensure that as members and visitors cross the Museum’s threshold when we reopen on June 9, 2020, they can still engage in experiences that enhance their curiosity and interest in history.”

When the Upcountry History Museum officially reopens on Tuesday, June 9, it will operate under guidelines carefully developed with the help of national organizations, peer institutions across the state and country, the American Alliance of Museums, the Smithsonian Affiliations Program and various local health experts.

The museum’s operations staff has gathered necessary safety supplies, including masks, gloves, plexiglass sneeze guards, sanitizing stations and directional signage. The new procedures will ensure that the facility is meeting the highest public health standards, while maintaining the excellence of the Museum’s visitor experience.

Throughout the initial phase of reopening, all exhibits and experiences will be available with controlled attendance to allow for social distancing between visitors. Most interactive exhibits will be available through use of a stylus which will be made available to visitors upon arrival.

Cleaning will be enhanced throughout the museum, including frequency of disinfecting high-traffic surfaces and hand sanitizer stations will be readily available. The museum’s visitor services staff will be required to wear face coverings during the initial reopening phase. Visitors will be encouraged to wear face coverings, with complimentary masks available for guests who request one. As recommended by the CDC, state and city officials, people with serious medical conditions should delay their visit until a safer time.

The Upcountry History Museum is located at 540 Buncombe St., in Greenville, S.C. For more information, call 864-467-3100 or visit www.upcountryhistory.org.

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