Vesterheim, the national Norwegian-American museum and folk art school, will begin a phased reopening of its programs in July and its buildings in August.

Through the remainder of 2020, Vesterheim Folk Art School will shift the focus of programs from on-site classes to online offerings. “Stay connected with the community and find ways to grow in your folk-art skills through video museum collection tours, online classes, conversations, and sharing,” Lea Lovelace, Vesterheim Director of Folk Art Education, said.

The schedule for upcoming online programs will start in July and registration will be available soon at Vesterheim’s onsite classes for the remainder of 2020 have been cancelled with the plan to offer a new schedule of in-person classes starting in 2021.

On August 1, 2020, Vesterheim’s Main Building and Museum Store will reopen onsite to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily at 50% capacity of normal operations. Vesterheim will evaluate the status of COVID-19 cases regionally and make changes to this opening and capacity as time goes on.

Reservations are not required, but groups of six or more are encouraged to call ahead at 563-382-9681 for best planning. Guided tours will not be available.

Vesterheim is instituting a number of protocols to promote the health of staff, volunteers, and visitors. Everyone will be required to wear masks while in the buildings. Disposable facemasks will be available for visitors if needed.

Plexiglass barriers are being installed at the entrance desk and in the Museum Store, and chip card readers for credit cards will be used to avoid unnecessary contact. Social distancing of six feet will be encouraged with markings on the floor at the admissions desk.

There will be hand sanitizer stations in the lobby, elevator, admissions counter, and rest rooms. The frequency of deep sanitizing is being increased, using certified cleaning products.

Vesterheim staff will be monitoring their health, and visitors should stay home if they are sick.

Vesterheim is implementing this reopening strategy with the guidance of county, state, and national public health recommendations and guidelines.

Vesterheim Heritage Park is closed until fall due to renovation.