NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 28, 2020)—The Frist Art Museum has established a plan for reopening in stages beginning June 22 with an initial members-only period. With continued improvement/stability of Davidson County COVID-19 metrics, the exhibition galleries will reopen to the general public on July 1 with required advance timed ticketing. The Frist Art Museum Board of Trustees’ decision to reopen gradually aligns with recommendations from Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s original Roadmap for Reopening Nashville. The museum’s new health, procedural, and cleaning protocols and restrictions are outlined below.
All current exhibitions that had opened before the Frist closed on March 15 will be extended. “We are tremendously appreciative of the enthusiastic cooperation of the museums, lenders, and artists who have worked so diligently with us to make the complex schedule adjustments possible,” said Frist Art Museum Director and CEO Dr. Susan H. Edwards.
The higher-touch areas in the building, including the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, café, gift shop, and auditorium will remain closed, and there will be no group tours in the first stage of reopening. Some public programs, such as virtual tours, lectures, and other events, will continue to be offered online-only at FristArtMuseum.org for the time being.
On April 23, after Mayor Cooper announced the Roadmap for Reopening Nashville, the Frist Art Museum created a Reopening Task Force to implement the safest possible environment for all guests, staff, and volunteers.
“Our commitment to keeping everyone who enters the Frist safe has never wavered,” said Dr. Edwards. “Our reopening plan has been scrutinized and vetted by members of every department, our board of trustees, and by knowledgeable and trusted outside advisors. We are excited to reopen our building as a place for learning, inspiration, reflection, and solace, but do so with cautious optimism. On June 22, we will begin to turn a dial, not flip a switch.” Detailed information about the first stage of reopening as well as subsequent changes in procedures or lifting of restrictions is available at FristArtMuseum.org/Reopening.
New closing dates for current exhibitions
J.M.W Turner: Quest for the Sublime, originally scheduled to close May 31, will remain open through September 7, 2020.
Terry Adkins: Our Sons and Daughters Ever on the Altar, originally scheduled to close May 31, will remain open through January 10, 2021.
Jitish Kallat: Return to Sender, originally scheduled to close June 28, will remain open through October 12, 2020.
Mel Ziegler: Flag Exchange, originally scheduled to close on June 28, will remain open through October 12, 2020.
The Nashville Flood: Ten Years Later, originally scheduled to close May 17, will remain open through January 3, 2021.
New health, procedural, and cleaning protocols
Ticketing and hours
- In an effort to create a contactless visitor experience and promote effective physical distancing, advance timed tickets, which allow for scheduled viewing of the exhibitions, will be required and available for purchase exclusively on FristArtMuseum.org during the first stage of the Frist’s reopening.
- Frist Art Museum members will also need to obtain advance timed tickets at FristArtMuseum.org, but there will be no charge. Members-only hours after the initial June 22–30 members-only stage will be announced in the coming weeks.
- Advance timed tickets for members will be available starting June 1 for visits between June 22 and 30. Advance timed tickets for the general public will be available for purchase June 22 for visits on July 1 and beyond. Every Monday, reservations for a new week will become available. Advance timed tickets may be purchased up to three weeks in advance. New memberships may also be purchased online.
- In the first stage, 40 tickets will be available every half-hour (80 per hour) without exceeding a 176-guest limit in the combined gallery space of 21,000 square feet, a ratio recommended by the Association of Art Museum Directors and aligned with Metro Nashville’s guidelines of opening entertainment and cultural venues.
- Complimentary “Be Our Guest” vouchers and other complimentary tickets that have been distributed cannot be accepted during the first stage of reopening.
- All group tours (including docent-led and self-guided) are suspended during the first stage of reopening.
- Our standard hours of operation will remain the same, with one exception: on Thursdays, we will close at 5:30 p.m. instead of 9:00 p.m.
Health and safety
- In compliance with Mayor Cooper’s Executive Order 7, requiring universal cloth face covering or mask wearing within government buildings (the Frist Art Museum occupies a structure leased from the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency), appropriate protective cloth face coverings or masks will be required for all guests (who are able to safely wear them) ages two and older, staff, and volunteers. Front-line staff and security guards will wear face shields, which will be sanitized nightly.
- All guests, staff, and volunteers will be screened for temperature with a no-contact thermometer upon entering the building. The person’s temperature must not exceed 100.4°F in order to enter the building. When weather permits, health screenings will take place outside of the building entrance.
- Physical distancing markers, signage, and stanchions will be placed throughout the building.
- Cleaning and disinfecting have been significantly increased throughout the building, including on high-touch surfaces like door handles, bathroom fixtures, countertops, and parking lot pay stations.
- Air filtration has been enhanced.
- Door attendants will be stationed at the Turner Courtyard entrance, Ninth Avenue exit, and exhibition gallery entrances. Bathroom doors have been equipped with foot pulls.
- Plexiglass partitions will be installed at the Visitor Services and Membership desks.
- Visitors will be directed to enter the building through the barrier-free Turner Courtyard entrance on the Demonbreun Street side of the building. All guests will exit through the accessible, ramped doorway onto Ninth Avenue. Both Broadway entrances will be closed.
- Staff will work in the building on a staggered schedule. All staff members have been required to complete OSHA training on maintaining healthy workspaces.
Please note the following changes to on-site amenities:
- Restrooms will be limited to those in the Conte Community Arts Gallery on the Main Level and the family restroom outside of Martin ArtQuest on the Upper Level.
- Audioguides will not be distributed until further notice. Visitors are encouraged to bring their own devices to access exhibition audio programs through the free Frist Art Museum app.
- Coat and bag check services will be suspended until further notice. A self-serve coat check will be available. Visitors are asked to leave bags at home or out of view in the trunks of their cars.
The Frist Art Museum is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.