By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 10, 2020 at 11:15 AM

The Milwaukee Art Museum, which closed on March 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak, says it will begin a phased reopening this summer, but has not yet announced a specific opening date.

Staffers deemed necessary to be on-site will begin returning to the museum in mid-June, while most employees will continue to work from home.

MAM assembled an internal team to explore what a reopening of the institution would look like. It has been monitoring guidelines and recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the City of Milwaukee, the Centers for Disease Control, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the Metro Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce and other.

Via what it calls its "Safer with Art" plan, MAM will use robust cleaning procedures, hand sanitizing stations at entrance points and in the galleries, and a face mask requirement for all staff and visitors.

There will also be a dedicated pathway through the Collection Galleries on the main level to promote and encourage social distancing, along with a new digital timed-ticketing system to help create a touchless experience.

The museum’s MERV15 air filtration system is considered hospital grade, the museum says.

Priority hours will be reserved for first responders and vulnerable community members.

Admission during the initial reopening phase will be free for a month, thanks to The Krei Family in Memory of Melinda.

"Our staff and board have been working diligently behind the scenes to plan for our reopening in a very measured and thoughtful way. The Museum is a complex organization that requires a carefully orchestrated, phased reopening to ensure everyone’s safety," said Marcelle Polednik, PhD, Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director of the Milwaukee Art Museum.

"We look forward to seeing our visitors and staff return, and to providing our community with the opportunity to stand again before the art, to find inspiration and moments of peace."

For updates and complete details on the reopening, visit

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.