LASM Reopens to the Public with New Operating Hours: Wednesday–Saturday, 10 AM–2 PM
Updated July 27, 2020
BATON ROUGE, LA –The Louisiana Art & Science Museum (LASM) at 100 S. River Road in downtown Baton Rouge has reopened to the public with new hours of operation from Wednesday–Saturday, 10 AM–2 PM. In-line with government regulations, spaces will operate at up to 50% capacity; masks are required and will be provided free-of-charge to visitors who arrive without them. The children’s hands-on galleries Discovery Depot and Science Station will remain closed until at least Phase 3.
“We are thrilled to re-open again with more consistent hours,” stated Serena Pandos, LASM’s President & Executive Director. “In April, we responded quickly by launching a free access digital learning platform to engage isolated and quarantined audiences of all ages and reduce learning regress in schoolchildren. In May, we began incrementally re-opening for special events in the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium. In June, we began providing virtual summer camps. Now, continuing to align with Center for Disease Control (CDC) protocols and complying with government orders, we can provide a more consistent public service schedule while ensuring a safe environment for staff and guests. Our hope is that taking these steps will enable us to safely reopen for the benefit of the whole community.”
The LASM has enacted a wide range of new protocols and procedures for both its staff and visitors, including sanitizing stations, personal protective equipment, signage, and closing the hands-on galleries Discovery Depot and Science Station. Visitors are temperature screened at the entrance to the Museum with no-touch thermometers. Social distancing guidelines are encouraged by signage throughout LASM’s 75,000 square foot building and groups are seated at least six feet apart in the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium. Thorough cleaning and sanitization of the building occurs frequently.
“We are grateful to our community for supporting the LASM through this crisis,” continued Ms. Pandos. “Museum industry surveys indicate that approximately one-third of the nation’s museums may close permanently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but thanks to our local government, museum members, friends, board and advisory council, along with our federal CARES Act relief funding award, we will be able to sustain and expand services during and after the pandemic. Museums are an important resource for community culture, education, and economic development. We feel exceedingly grateful to be able to respond proactively and contribute positively to our community’s recovery. We remain committed to doing our part to serve the community and prevent the spread of infection. If you are unable to join us physically, the LASM is always open online for at-home art and science experiences at our nationally-recognized digital learning platform hosted at virtual-lasm.org.”
Operating hours are subject to change at this time. Patrons will be notified on lasm.org, on LASM’s Facebook (@theLASM) and Instagram (@lasmbr) accounts, and through email newsletter if there is a change to operating hours. Sign up for emails at tinyurl.com/LASMnewsletter to stay up-to-date on LASM’s programming.
Regular admission fees ($12 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-12 and senior adults 65+, and free for members) apply. Active duty military members, first responders, and their families receive free admission with ID as part of the Blue Star Museums program, sponsored by Special Risk Insurance, Inc. VFIS of Mississippi/Louisiana. Admission is paid at the door. The Museum Store is open for business during operating hours.
Updated March 20, 2020
From The President & Executive Director
Dear Members, Patrons, and Partners,
Despite the LASM's temporary closure, to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19, our work continues. To help reduce regression during the temporary school closures, we are providing families and K-12 students virtual access to our regularly scheduled programs, and new programs as they become available. To access these free services, click here.
Mesmerica 360, which was expected to debut in Baton Rouge at LASM's Irene W. Pennington Planetarium in late March, is being postponed for a later time, as yet to be determined. Refunds or credits are being issued for advance payments made for postponed events.
Declines in tourism, declines in local attendance, and increases in social distancing and quarantines are having a devastating impact on the Museum, which operates on thin margins of financial sustainability. As a 501c3 nonprofit organization that depends upon the charity of others to sustain programming, we invite you to consider making a tax-deductible charitable donation to support our efforts. To make a secure online donation, please visit LASM's Network For Good page.
On a weekly basis, we will assess resuming public admissions as soon as the risk to public health has declined. We look forward to welcoming you back to the Louisiana Art & Science Museum in the near future. From our LASM family to yours, we wish you wellness and look forward to seeing you soon.
President & Executive Director
Louisiana Art & Science Museum
ENGINEERING DAY UPDATE:
LASM has decided to postpone Engineering Day 2020, originally scheduled to be held on Saturday, March 14. As this large public gathering potentially attracting up to 1,000 visitors could result in the spread of the virus, LASM is taking every precaution necessary to mitigate this concern. LASM will remain open to the general public on Saturday, March 14. This decision was made amid concerns about COVID-19, in light of the State of Public Health Emergency in Louisiana, and in cooperation with Governor Edwards and Mayor Broome.
Please check this page for updates on this rapidly-evolving situation.
In response to COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum is proactively and strictly adhering to the recommendations set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We are committed to keeping the public, our employees, and the community at large healthy.
Steps LASM has taken to prevent the risk of infection:
Continuously maintaining a clean environment, increasing the frequency that surfaces are cleaned both in spaces accessible to the public and in employee-only areas in addition to our nightly deep cleaning regimen
Posted signage in every restroom and water fountain area with information about proper hand-washing as advised by the CDC and WHO
In line with the CDC’s recommendations, LASM employees have been advised to:
Stay home if they have respiratory symptoms (coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath) and/or a temperature above 100.4 degrees F, and leave work if they develop these symptoms at LASM
Shield coughs and sneezes with a tissue, elbow, or shoulder (not bare hands)
Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
Stay home following international travel, only returning to work after 14 symptom-free days. After voluntary international travel, employees are required to provide documentation from a medical professional indicating that they are not infectious.
Things you can do to help prevent the risk of infection:
Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or with a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
Avoid touching eyes, mouth, face, or nose with unwashed hands
Avoid close contact with people who appear sick
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the crook of your arm when sneezing or coughing (also known as the "vampire cough"), disposing of the tissue after use
Stay home and away from others if you or your family members are feeling ill
Avoiding shaking hands can help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. An “elbow bump” or “footshake” can go a long way! For a video demonstrating these alternative greetings, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2-Yui6PdWI
Some songs that you can sing in your head while washing your hands to get up to 20 seconds are:
“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
“Happy Birthday” twice
“Africa” by Toto chorus
“Jolene” by Dolly Parton chorus
“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield chorus
Handwashing info from CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html
Handwashing video from CDC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d914EnpU4Fo
Up-to-Date Information about COVID-19 from WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Advice to public regarding COVID-19: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public