Tacoma Museum District to Reopen to the Public Beginning September 25

After being given the option to reopen by Governor Inslee last month, the museums of the Tacoma Museum District – Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Art Museum, Museum of Glass, LeMay – America’s Car Museum, Foss Waterway Seaport, and Children’s Museum of Tacoma – will begin opening their doors to the public starting September 25, 2020.

The reopening timelines, days of operation, and onsite protocols will vary from museum to museum, based on staffing and exhibit configurations. The museums recommend purchasing tickets online in advance. Visitors are encouraged to check each museum’s website for specifics before visiting.

Throughout the pandemic, the directors of the individual institutions have consulted with local experts and worked in concert to monitor local COVID-19 transmission rates and trends. The decision to reopen comes after thoughtful consideration for the safety of guests, staff, and volunteers, and in accordance with specific protocols established by Washington State, the Department of Labor & Industries, and the Department of Health. Among these protocols are universal mask-wearing, the addition of sanitizing stations throughout the facilities, one-way routes through galleries, monitored social distancing between groups, reduced occupancy, and enhanced cleaning schedules. Each museum has also installed safety features and procedures specific to their individual building layout.

Initially, some venues will operate with reduced schedules:

Museum of Glass: Opening Sept. 25; operating hours Friday through Sunday – 10 am to 5 pm

LeMay – America’s Car Museum: Opening Sept. 25; operating hours Friday through Sunday – 10 am to 5 pm

Washington State Historical Society: Opening date to be announced soon. Operating hours will be Tuesday through Sunday – 10 am to 5 pm with seniors-only hours Tuesdays 10 am to 12 pm (ages 65+). Initially, the Great Hall of Washington History (third floor) will be open and fifth floor galleries will remain closed for installation of new exhibitions; admission will be half price during this time. Tickets may be purchased online or using credit/debit card at the museum (cash will not be accepted).

Tacoma Art Museum: Opening Oct. 9; operating hours Friday through Sunday – 10 am to 5 pm

Foss Waterway Seaport: Opening Oct. 16; operating hours Fridays from 3 pm to 7 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm, and Sundays from noon to 4 pm

Children’s Museum of Tacoma: Will remain closed until 2021 due to the hands-on, interactive nature of the galleries. Greentrike, the museum’s parent company, will continue to provide Distance Learning Camps and licensed child care for our community’s youngest children.

You can read the governor’s COVID-19 requirements for museums here: https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19%20Phase%202%20and%203%20Museums%20Guidance.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

You can find more information at the Tacoma Museum District’s Facebook page (@TacomaMuseums)and each museum’s website (www.WashingtonHistory.org, www.TacomaArtMuseum.org,www.MuseumofGlass.org, www.AmericasCarMuseum.org, https://fosswaterwayseaport.org/, and https://playtacoma.org). The museum teams look forward to seeing you again.

COVID-19 Emergency Relief: A Thank You From MOG

The past few months have brought deep challenges for nearly every individual and organization in communities around the world. The impact and extended closures related to COVID-19 for non-profit institutions like MOG is significant, but there is a bright side. The outpouring of support from community members, funders, and partners has been uplifting. 

We’d like to share our appreciation to the organizations that have provided financial aid during this time of uncertainty. Their support will allow the Museum to continue previous programming, create new virtual programs, and plan for a safe reopening. 

Below is a list of organizations who have donated to Museum of Glass for COVID-19 Emergency Relief:


ArtsFund: $10,000
To learn more about ArtsFund visit: artsfund.org



National Endowment for the Arts CARES Act: $50,000
To learn more about NEA visit: arts.gov



Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass: $7,500
To learn more about AACG visit: contempglass.org


Washington State Arts Commission: $2,000
To learn more about ArtsWA, visit: arts.wa.gov


Thank you all for your generous support.


When Will Tacoma Museum District Reopen?

Earlier this week, the Tacoma Museum District (TMD), which includes the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Art Museum, Foss Waterway Seaport, Children’s Museum of Tacoma, and LeMay – America’s Car Museum, and Museum of Glass, collectively addressed plans for reopening.

For now, all five organizations have chosen to stay “paused” and continue to monitor local conditions on a daily basis. While the buildings are closed, many staff are working remotely to provide enriching online presentations and activities, as well as providing extensive downloadable learning materials to engage with history, arts, and culture from home.

Follow the Tacoma Museum District Facebook page for district updates, and of course, check the MOG site for details on our plans.

TAKING IT TO THE STREETS: Pop-Up Glassblowing and Activities

Who doesn’t miss afternoons in the Hot Shop watching the Team in action? Well don’t worry, because for back-to-back weekends Museum of Glass is taking the Mobile Hot Shop to the streets! Starting August 28, MOG will be activating the outdoor plaza with live glassblowing, scavenger hunts, and artmaking activities from 12–3pm.

In addition to demos operated out of the Mobile Hot Shop, the Museum Store will be open and featuring new items for sale. The MOG Education staff will also host a limited amount of hands-on activities, which will vary by day and are free to participate. The activity schedule is as follows:

Friday, Aug. 28 & Sept. 4 – Creating coneheads: Color and decorate a vintage
conehead hat pattern.
Saturday, Aug. 29 & Sept. 5 – Painting on glass jars.

Sunday, Aug. 30 & Sept. 6 – Crafting suncatchers: Using recycled glass, create a 2D mosaic suncatcher to extend summer’s sunshine rays.

Join the Museum for some fun in the sun before the always short Washington summer ends. Members should also be sure to stop by the education table with your member card to receive a small token of gratitude for your support!

WORLD MASK WEEK: An Interview with Productivity Parlour for Artful Living

MOG’s own Sophie Engle showing off her Parlour Style Face Mask
With internet searches for the term “face mask” reaching an all-time high this year, it’s safe to say that the hunt for the perfect protective facial wear has been a task most of us have endured, including Museum of Glass. 
Since World Mask Week is happening right now, we reached out to MOG’s mask supplier, and Tacoma’s local textile maker space Productivity Parlour for Artful Living, to have Co-director Naarah McDonald answer a few questions about how they pivoted to mask production and are working to support local front line workers.

What made you decide to start this program and when did mask production begin?

We began producing masks in early March when a client asked if we would make some for her to gift to medical personnel. While the easy answer was yes, we also knew this would likely be a greater community need. We asked our personal connections if they would be interested in sponsoring masks for the community at large. The overwhelming response was yes. We also knew that folks would likely need some for personal use as recommendations were starting to suggest cloth masks for the public. At the start, we offered sponsorship only or get one, give one for adult size, and initially, we only offered one design. We did a lot of research on mask options that we could produce and found the initial design was the most flexible in terms of fitting the widest range of folks, allowed for a filter to be inserted, and had a nose contour strip. We have expanded our options a bit since then.
As campaigns started locally and nationally for masks for medical and other essential frontline workers, we really felt that the organizations that would most benefit from our donations would be those that were addressing needs for marginalized/disadvantaged communities. We asked for recommendations from our community to direct our resources where they would be most effective locally. We have added some groups outside our region, like the Navajo Nation and a farmworkers group, because of the impact the virus has had in these communities.

How many masks have been donated so far? 

Out of the over 1000 masks produced so far, a little over 600 have been donated to food banks, rescue missions, schools, medical personnel, community members that couldn’t afford to purchase them, assisted living homes, and community groups or individuals doing street outreach.

Within a video posted on Productivity Parlour’s YouTube Channel, it was mentioned that some materials had been donated by individuals to help produce these masks. Are you still in need of any of these materials? If so, what is the need and how can people help? 

We have had community members donate 100% cotton materials and elastic to help with producing masks. Prior to this pandemic, we accepted material donations to help keep our class costs down and provide access to sewing resources for anyone who would like to learn this skill. During the earlier days of the pandemic, we fairly quickly depleted our on-hand materials to make and distribute masks as quickly as possible. Our community really came through for us as we worked on replenishing fabric and elastic, both through purchase and donation, to be able to continue working. It really is a community effort to make this happen.

Productivity Parlour has several great classes for learning textile skills featured on your website, but with the current state of how businesses are slowly reopening how have you planned to reintroduce classes to fit this “new norm”? 

As with many businesses, this shift in public safety and community responsibility has impacted how we are able to do business. With rises in daily numbers, we are not sure we can safely and effectively hold classes the way we had been. We are gearing up to open one-on-one/family classes in our space on a limited basis. For the last month, we have been offering individual appointments for alterations or custom designs. We will continue to assess as we move forward how best to relaunch our classes safely for staff and clients.

Lastly, is there anything else you would like us to know about Productivity Parlour?

As Spacework alums and a creative micro-business, we are tremendously thankful to our growing community for supporting us as we pivot during these challenging times. Our goal from the beginning was to create an inclusive environment where anyone who wanted to learn textile arts had a place to go. In addition to teaching, we are active in performing arts as costume designers (though not currently due to the impact on the arts), historical costuming in the Society for Creative Anachronism, and provide alterations and custom designs. 

So if you are still in need of a reusable face mask and support local front line workers, head over to Productivity Parlour’s online store today.

Link: Productivity Parlour for Artful Living Online Store