By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 18, 2021 at 10:15 AM

In a colossal example of poor timing, I stopped at Milwaukee Art Museum last November and said how great it felt to be back in the reopened museum ... just before it closed to the public again in the face of rising pandemic numbers.

But today, MAM, along with Discovery World, the Harley-Davidson Museum and the Milwaukee Public Museum announced a joint reopening the first week in March, with health and safety protocols in place.

Details of individual reopenings can be found below.

“We’re thrilled to have visitors back inside Discovery World and to offer our community the opportunity to once again explore Milwaukee’s amazing cultural institutions,” said Discovery World President & CEO Bryan Wunar, in the joint statement.

“It’s time to open our doors so that we can continue fulfilling our missions of connecting families with fun and educational learning experiences.”  

“Throughout this pandemic, the Milwaukee Art Museum has learned a great deal from other museums about how to reopen and safely welcome guests,” added Milwaukee Art Museum Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director Marcelle Polednik, PhD added.

“This collaboration, more than at any other time, has been invaluable. Our coordinated reopening is one more way we can support each other and reflect the importance of Milwaukee’s cultural organizations in the community.”

City of Milwaukee health officials have approved safety plans for the re-opening museums, which include robust cleaning procedures, hand sanitizing stations and online ticketing to ensure social distancing and limiting of capacity levels.

Staff and visitors will be required to wear masks at all times inside all the venues.

“Milwaukee’s museums and cultural institutions are a major draw for visitors and locals year round, but their importance goes far beyond that,” said Visit Milwaukee President and CEO Peggy Williams-Smith.

“They are the keepers of our community’s culture, history, and traditions, which is why the pandemic’s effects on their resources have been especially devastating. They need all of Milwaukee to step up and show their support today through donations, admission, and membership if we want to preserve the institutions that are vital to our identity as a city.”

“Our team has been eager to welcome our friends and neighbors – safely – back to our campus,” added Harley-Davidson Museum Vice President Bill Davidson.

“With robust health and safety plans in place, we’re confident our guests can comfortably enjoy a visit to our new exhibit, “Off-Road Harley-Davidson,” a bite at MOTOR® Bar & Restaurant or a visit to The Shop. Together, with our partners across the city, we have been diligently working to make sure we do our part to keep Milwaukee moving in the right direction.”

“Milwaukee is a city of museums, with visitors filling our galleries from all over Wisconsin, the U.S., and even the world,” said Milwaukee Public Museum CEO & President Dr. Ellen Censky.

“Though we've all made successful forays into the virtual realm, being onsite is something that has been greatly missed. We’re extremely excited that we can partner together and reopen to give the community a variety of experiences to share safely in-person again.”

Here are the opening, hours and programming details for each of the museums, as provided in the joint statement:

Beginning March 4, the Milwaukee Public Museum will be open Thursdays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with special Community of Curiosity programming on dinosaurs that can be accessed virtually before, during, or after your visit. Join us for free general admission on 2021's first Kohl's Thank You Thursday, March 18.

Starting March 5, The world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum, including Motor Bar & Restaurant and The Shop, will be open Fridays through Sundays. The museum and shop will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. MOTOR’s hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  A new exhibit, “Off-Road Harley-Davidson,” will be unveiled on March 5. “Off-Road Harley-Davidson” tells the history of motorcycles designed for rough roads, the people who rode them and the adventures they shared.

Admission to the Milwaukee Art Museum will be free for all on March 5, thanks to Educators Credit Union. The Museum will be open Fridays through Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with galleries on the main and lower levels accessible to the public. The exhibition "Susan Meiselas: Through a Woman’s Lens" will be on view in the Herzfeld Center for Photography and Media Arts.

Beginning on March 27, Discovery World will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The noon to 1 p.m. time slot will be reserved for deep cleaning. “Science + You,” a traveling exhibit designed to increase awareness and understanding of the role science and scientists play in the health and wellness of children and adults throughout the world, will be on display in the spring.

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.