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Scranton museums struggling but optimistic

Many museums fear they won't last through the course of the pandemic, according to a new survey. How are museums in our area faring?

SCRANTON, Pa. — For more than a century, people have been coming to the Everhart Museum in Scranton to learn about art and natural history.

That has not been the case for the last few months. 

A new report from the American Alliance of Museums found that a third of museums surveyed across the country were not confident that they would survive the next 16 months without some sort of financial relief.

"Are we concerned with everything that's happening with the pandemic? Of course, but no, we are not concerned about shutting down in the future. We have been here for 112 years, we intend to be here for generations to come," said Debbie Pann, Interim Executive Director of Everhart Museum.

Pann says even during the 1918 Spanish flu, the museum didn't close.

"So we intend to work through this, work our hardest, tighten our belt, do whatever we have to do to stay open," said Pann.

The planned reopening for the Anthracite Heritage Museum, also in Scranton, has been delayed indefinitely due to the recent spike in cases in some states.

"Spring is our busiest time of year, mostly with school tours, and then in summer, we tend to get a lot of tours with people traveling to the area. So we've kind of missed out on a lot of those visitors," said Bode Morin, the Historic Site Administrator for Anthracite Heritage Museum, Scranton Iron Furnaces, and Eckley Miner's Village.

Morin is optimistic that it will ride out the storm.

For now, looking forward to the day the museum reopens is getting him and his staff through the tough times.

"The reason that a lot of us get into the museum field is because we like history and we like people. So I think the thing we're looking forward to having people back at the museum, getting to talk about our history and talk about our region," said Morin.

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