Reopening Resources for Galleries and Museums

Is your gallery or museum planning to reopen? Access NAVA's free resources for a COVID-safe reopening.

An illustration of a hand holding a mobile phone on a pink background. The thumb is touching the screen which has a white tick on a green circle under a QR Code and the word "vaccinated". Illustration by Emily Johnson.

NAVA has been engaging with the visual arts sector and listening to your concerns around reopening. Reopenings are underway in NSW, Vic and the ACT, with the rest of the state and territory governments planning for a future without border restrictions. To find out what rules apply in your state or territory for COVID-19, visit Safe Work Australia. For current state and territory-specific details on restrictions and timing for re-opening, visit Australian Museums and Galleries Association. NAVA has gathered tips and resources to help your arts organisation navigate through this process.

Easing Restrictions and Increasing Responsibility Webinar

NAVA partnered with the Art Gallery of NSW and Create NSW to host a free webinar to support individuals and organisations as the sector prepares to open up. Emily Crocker, Head of Government and Corporate Planning at the Art Gallery of NSW presented AGNSW’s experience and shared tips on:

  • Communicating vaccination and mask mandates to audiences 
  • De-escalation techniques and dealing with customers/visitors in the space
  • Risk mitigation and preparing for escalated situations
  • Planning for the future.

Staff and Volunteer Wellbeing

For arts organisations who don't have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is a free, confidential phone counselling service, available 24/7 to anyone anywhere in Australia who works in the arts.

Asking for Proof of Vaccination Tips

In some areas, businesses are responsible for taking reasonable steps to prevent unvaccinated people entering your premises. As visual arts venues reopen, front of house staff–many of whom are volunteers or casual workers–are placed in vulnerable situations. Refusing admission may be confronting. Here are some tips to ensure staff feel comfortable and safe when asking for valid forms of evidence of vaccination or medical exemption.

  • Make sure you have good clear signage. Graphics or images are useful. Support your team by clearly identifying the legal requirements of these conditions (i.e. government mandate, enacted through regulations of an act, local government policy).
  • Write a script. Make sure your teams know exactly what to say and what not to say. A positive and warm welcome will put visitors at ease. Use of more inclusive language might be helpful, for example, use ‘condition of entry’ rather than ‘required’ or ‘mandated’.
  • Active listening is important. Ensure staff remain calm and are aware of who to contact if the situation escalates or becomes unsafe.
  • Ensure you are operating within anti-discrimination legislation and brief your team about this. Knowing that your workplace has complied with due diligence will help front of house staff feel more comfortable responding to any potential criticism.
  • Be clear about what proof of vaccination or medical exemption you will accept.
  • Check-in and offer regular support.  

For tips on coping with anxiety about COVID-19 restrictions easing, visit Black Dog Institute.

Vaccine Vetting Training courses

There are a range of free and paid online training courses available for your organisation. Here are a few we’ve come across.

FREE Coronavirus (COVID-19) Safety at Work Online Certificate Courses - Sentrient

VISITOR VEX ABOUT VAX - Preferred Training Networks