Museums launch virtual programming to continue education, expand reach

Quarantining in the Age of the Internet

Local museums are using creativity and technology to keep members engaged, entertained and, most importantly, at home.

“People checked in from as far away as Guam, which is pretty cool,” said Emily Kovacs, community outreach coordinator of the History of Diving Museum’s first Facebook Live lecture. “The video has reached almost 2,000 people within three days.” The normal, in-person lectures seat 50 to 60, Kovacs said.

Kovacs also posts educational videos to the museum’s Facebook and YouTube, highlighting exhibits and artifacts and even a how-to on handwashing with a dive helmet on. She acknowledges, “Some are ridiculous, but I feel like you can get away with that right now.”

The Keys History & Discovery Center is also going virtual. Its lecture series will be hosted through the GoToWebinar platform, allowing live viewer interaction with the speaker. 

The History of Diving Museum’s first Facebook Live lecture takes place with community outreach coordinator Emily Kovacs’ cell phone hanging from a ceiling fan. TIFFANY DUONG/Keys Weekly

On Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m., curator Brad Bertelli will host Facebook Live segments about the museum’s exhibits and artifacts in addition to daily history lessons. On Mondays at 1 p.m., Mote’s Blake Terry will lead fish/crustacean feedings and other aquarium segments.

The April lectures for both museums are currently scheduled for virtual programming.

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