March 26, 2020
A Special Message from our CEO
Our CEO shares an update on COVID 19
Discovery Place has been educating the Charlotte community for nearly 75 years. And while I have not been here for all of that time, I cannot imagine that we have ever faced a crisis quite like we are experiencing today. Our community’s health is at great risk due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and we are doing everything possible to slow the transmission rate.
Last week, we decided to close all of our Museums through March 27 to reduce risk and further assess the situation. As you are aware, the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb. To comply with official health guidelines and government orders, we have made the difficult decision to keep the Museums closed until further notice. We will continue to monitor local, state and federal guidance and will reopen when we can safely provide access to the community.
In the meantime, I hope you will join our online community of learners. This week we launched Stay-at-Home Science, a new digital learning center where you will find activities, videos and other resources to keep learners of all ages engaged. Check back regularly for new content and ideas. Curiosity never rests – even when it must stay home – and our goal is to help you and your families better understand, apply and enjoy science in your adjusted lives.
A closure of this duration is a serious issue for our organization. Our senior staff and Board of Trustees have been working together to find a path forward to ensure that we can continue to support your family’s education for another 75 years or more. Today we announced the painful decision to temporarily lay off many of our team members. These individuals are the face of Discovery Place, bringing the wonders of science, technology, and nature to the public day in and day out, and we will be working with them to provide as much assistance as possible. Our hope is that when we emerge from this crisis, we will be able to bring all of these team members back to our organization as quickly as possible as we resume and rebuild our operations. For now, we will continue to operate with a reduced staff that will focus on digital learning opportunities, the care of our animal residents, maintaining our facilities and caring for you and our community of supporters.
All Memberships will be extended by the length of time that we are closed. If your Membership comes up for renewal during this period, we hope you will consider renewing now, knowing that you will receive the additional months to ensure a full year of Membership. Your support now is essential to helping us weather this storm.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and all of the Discovery Place museums, I want to express my deep gratitude for your support. We feel very lucky to be part of a community of learners that cares about building a more informed, engaged future.
Please continue to follow all guidance from our health officials, and please express your gratitude to the many healthcare workers, first responders and other professionals who are on the front lines of this public health crisis.
Catherine Wilson Horne
President & CEO, Discovery Place