Detroit Cultural Center Announces Collective Public Re-Opening Date
following Covid-19 Emergency Shutdown

July 10 Re-Opening Plans

June 25, 2020 (Detroit, MI) — After an unprecedented four-month shutdown of Detroit’s Cultural Center due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, the museums and arts and cultural organizations that are at the heart of the district are collectively planning to re-open their doors to the public on July 10, 2020.

The Carr Center, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Historical Museum,  Detroit Institute of Arts, Hellenic Museum of Michigan, Michigan Science Center and The Scarab Club have been collaborating since late April to create a plan to re-open safely and welcome visitors and employees back into their buildings under the guidance of Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI) and the National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF). A small number of other arts and cultural institutions including the Detroit Public Library, International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) will have different re-opening dates but still participated in the process.

“We know that the long-term health and safety of our cultural institutions is currently tied to ensuring the health and safety of all visitors and staff,” says Susan Mosey, Executive Director of Midtown Detroit, Inc. “We engaged NSF to help us create a safety culture and protocols for managing the risks associated with a communicable disease while helping institutions deliver their core missions.”

A re-opening guide and toolkit has been developed by NSF that includes practices, protocols and recommendations for safely operating, as law permits, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The multi-phase re-opening guide includes professional guidelines that are being implemented across the district and are informed by the recommendations of organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health and Human Services, pursuant to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as strict adherence to city, state and federal mandates. Every aspect of normal operations at each institution has undergone a thorough evaluation by NSF and where needed, modifications are in place and will be continually updated to keep staff and visitors safe. Visitors can expect:

  • Expanded cleaning and disinfection of public spaces and work areas.
  • Frequent handwashing is encouraged and abundant hand-sanitation dispensers will be made available throughout the institutions.
  • To be required to wear masks inside each building (guests aged 3 years and older).
  • Cashless and touchless transactions will be made available wherever possible.
  • Changed entry procedures and door-access points at some of the institutions.
  • Limited hours and reduced occupancy loads at some of the institutions to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
  • New wayfinding around the buildings and guidelines for physical distancing to safely navigate the institutions.

Visitors are also encouraged to check in with all institutional websites for the most up-to-date information while making plans to visit the Cultural Center.

Detroit’s cultural institutions, under the guidance of MDI, have been working together collaboratively for more than twenty-four months as part of the Cultural Center Planning Initiative to transform the campus and rebrand the district. This period of closure, since early March when the Governor issued Executive emergency orders, has led to a collective reevaluation of programming by some of the institutions and a new sense of partnership and effort to address shared audiences.

“The support and collaboration of our partners throughout the cultural district has made manageable the difficult task of reimagining the museum experience for our visitors,” said Elana Rugh, President and CEO of the Detroit Historical Society. “We are so grateful for the support from Midtown Detroit, Inc. and NSF. Because of their partnership, we are confident that we will be able to provide visitors with an exceptional experience that is both safe and engaging. Our entire staff is looking forward to welcoming everyone back to our museums.”


The CEOs of the institutions have also been in weekly conversations that focus on developing strategic ideas to mitigate the economic losses to the institutions. Decreased earned revenue coupled with the cost of providing the safety protocols and supplies needed to reopen makes for a very challenging situation given the uncertainty of the current pandemic environment. MDI is in conversation with the foundation community to help support some of these added and unexpected budget issues. 

“We look forward to welcoming our members and the public back to the district,” said Neil Barclay, President and CEO, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. “Given the effect that COVID-19 has had on the African American community, The Wright enthusiastically joined with my colleagues to construct a comprehensive plan that would keep our stakeholders and patrons feeling comfortable and safe as they reentered our facilities. Even though the world looks very different from when we shut our doors in March, the roles our institutions play in Detroit and the larger community have not changed and are needed now more than ever. Whether it is offering respite, encouraging creativity, or being a place to gather for shared experiences, the Cultural Center of Detroit is committed to putting our patrons’ health and safety first.”  


The Cultural Center Planning Initiative is supported by the William Davidson Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, Knight Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and The Walters Family Foundation. The Cultural Center’s re-opening efforts have been supported by First American Title Insurance Company, the City of Detroit, and Midtown Detroit, Inc.

Individually, the institutions are rolling out a variety of plans including special membership opportunities, timed ticketing, and virtual programming, etc., as part of the re-opening schedule. Below please find a table to show each institution’s hours of operations.


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Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI) ( is a nonprofit planning and development agency charged with revitalization of Detroit’s Woodward Corridor. Representing over 160 area stakeholders, including Detroit’s anchor educational, medical and cultural institutions, MDI provides public space maintenance and security services; marketing support; technical assistance; infrastructure and real estate development; small business support; grant administration; and arts programming for the district.

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NSF International ( is an independent, global organization that facilitates standards development, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. With operations in 180 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.