Alert | March 2020
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Message from AAO Executive Director Michael Wood

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

AAO members across the country and around the world are temporarily closing their doors in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The burdens placed on society by this pandemic have made the collective work of all cultural organizations more urgently needed at the precise moment when we are physically challenged to do our usual work. Without the ability to deliver in-person programming, many organizations will be considering how to effectively reach their audiences online.

Over the coming weeks, the AAO team will be focusing closely on the topics of digital programming and online content. While executive directors and management teams must prioritize their own efforts to look after their employees and safeguard their organizations’ business operations as best as possible, we would like to support all remaining staff charged with thinking through the delivery of content and communications to engage their most critical audiences.

We are announcing two upcoming meetings and we strongly encourage that a representative or two from your organization participate. These are support groups, if you will, in what will likely become a series of regularly scheduled info exchanges and general check-ins.

Public Programs Network
Friday, March 27, 12:00pm-1:00pm ET

In this meeting, we will take questions from AAO members, probing to see what info and advice is most needed now and to identify who among us is already experimenting with new efforts to engage their audiences online.  

Architecture + Design Education Network
Tuesday, March 31, 12:00pm-1:00pm ET

In this meeting, we will discuss early challenges encountered in serving students, parents, and teachers in a virtual capacity.

We have already started to compile some resource lists, and the shift to embrace virtual conferences is already well underway and soon will unearth even more helpful suggestions to build up our practical knowledge. But, rather than beginning with info overload, we’d like to start by gathering our members and discussing together how we can all discover, invent, or advance best practices in this area.

One legacy of this pandemic should be the greater availability of quality programs and experiences beyond the walls of our member sites. We will need it during future challenges, and it will benefit us in more prosperous times, too.

Let’s come together and learn from one another.

Michael Wood
Executive Director

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