Press Release

The Strong Remains Closed: Statement from the President and CEO

Published April 6, 2020

Monday, April 6, 2020
For Immediate Release

Shane Rhinewald, 585-410-6365, srhinewald@museumofplay.org

Noelle McElrath-Hart, 585-410-6325, nmcelrath@museumofplay.org

Dear Members and Guests,

I hope that you and your families are doing well and finding ways to continue to play as we all navigate this global situation. While the museum staff and I miss seeing everyone, we take comfort in knowing that these social distancing efforts will make us all healthier and stronger in the long run. 

When The Strong closed on March 13, I promised you an update on the museum’s status and any progress toward reopening. Given the still-developing situation with COVID-19 and the continuation of the New York State on PAUSE initiative, the museum, like so many other places, will remain closed. We will continue to follow the news and announce an opening date—sometime after April 30—when prudent and based on the recommendation of health officials.

Some of you may be asking, “So what does this mean for me?” For those with active memberships when The Strong closed on March 13, we were able to extend your household membership by one month. If the museum is closed for additional time after April 30, an equivalent amount of time will be added to your membership renewal. Because the museum is a nonprofit cultural institution, we depend on monthly admission and membership revenue to run the museum and to offer the exhibits and programs that you have come to love. To keep going, the museum relies each day on your support and on all our guests who visit The Strong to play in so many ways.

Until we can welcome you in person again, we hope that you’re continuing to enjoy the museum’s social media programming, including story readings and animal encounters, book recommendations, videos about toys and games, and so much more. We also encourage you to also visit museumofplay.org/education/play-at-home-activities to find other ideas for continuing to play at home.

Today we are also asking you, our biggest play partners, to help The Strong document this rare moment in the history of play. We know many of you are getting creative with cardboard boxes and other household materials. Are you turning to craft projects or family board games? Has sidewalk chalk provided an artistic outlet or turned your pavement into a billboard for messages to the neighborhood? Are you spending time playing video games and connecting with friends and family through these channels? The museum welcomes your stories, photos, and videos about  play for preservation in The Strong’s collection at museumofplay.org/collections/play-stories. We can’t wait to see what you’ve created and to preserve your stories of how you played.

And if you are considering other ways to support the museum and our play mission today, you can log on to the website and purchase advance-sale tickets for future use. We certainly can’t wait to have you back. Thank you for being part of the museum family.

We hope to all be able to play together soon.


Steve Dubnik
President and CEO