Dear NOMA friends,
As you know only too well, Louisianians are not strangers to natural disasters. Our location creates a unique set of challenges, but it is also the source of our rich history, culture, spirit, and sense of community.
While the last two weeks have been a difficult time for all of us, I am happy to report that the New Orleans Museum of Art staff are all safe and accounted for. On Wednesday, September 8, full power and internet services were restored to the museum. After the lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, the museum developed an emergency preparedness protocol that is activated in anticipation of extreme weather events. Upon learning of the expected severity of Hurricane Ida, we began to immediately roll out the protocol in order to maintain the safety of NOMA’s collection, building, and grounds.
In the aftermath of Ida, the museum relied on emergency generators for electricity and power. Belfor, NOMA’s emergency management partner, provided integral support in ensuring the continued safety of the museum. NOMA’s emergency team has remained on site during the last 11 days to oversee operations while the museum has been closed. We owe them our profound gratitude for all that they have done to maintain the building and safeguard the collection.
We plan to welcome our community back to NOMA on September 14, 2021. Café NOMA will also reopen at this time. As always, our primary concern is the health of NOMA visitors, staff, and community, and we will continue to follow the City of New Orleans’s public health guidance. While the museum is not requiring visitors to provide proof of vaccination upon reopening, NOMA supports the city’s policy to slow COVID-19 transmission during high-risk activities. All museum visitors and employees are required to wear a face mask covering the nose and mouth while indoors. Guests dining at Café NOMA, aged 12 years and older, will be required to provide proof of at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine or a negative PCR test within the past 72 hours.
The museum has canceled all public events and programs for the month of September so that our community can focus on recovery. We are moving the opening date of Dawn DeDeaux: The Space Between Worlds, to October 22nd with the artist’s blessing. I think we are all relieved to have more time for this complex, spectacular retrospective which will take on additional poignancy and relevance after this devastating storm.
We are grateful for the city, state, and federal response to Hurricane Ida and we are in solidarity with our South Louisiana community who continue to show true courage and character in the face of adversity. While the effort to recover will be arduous, we are optimistic that once again, Louisiana will persevere.
The arts will continue to thrive in New Orleans and beyond, and the New Orleans Museum of Art will continue to advance our mission of making the arts accessible to all of our communities. I want to thank you for your support of NOMA and the supportive words you have shared with us over the last 11 days. It means a great deal to us here at NOMA, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the museum.
Montine McDaniel Freeman Director