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Missouri Humanities Shifts in Response to COVID-19

For nearly fifty years we’ve taken pride in bringing communities together through in-person events, tours, and interactive programming. For our team, there is nothing better than working hard to create an in-person program and engaging with the people throughout the state who come together to experience something new.

When COVID-19 hit, our team was faced with a tough challenge. We had to quickly move from hosting in-person events to providing digital opportunities for Missourians to continue connecting to the Humanities. Luckily for us, the same day the shut down was announced was the same day we brought on a new Director of Communications and Marketing, and she was not afraid of a digital challenge. Our team quickly rallied together and began brainstorming every possible way to take our programming online. It took a few weeks to get the ball rolling, but once it was in motion the whole team was moving in the right direction.

Our first challenge was how to take our Earth Day Symposium online. We moved fast, and sent our videographer to Springfield to shoot some in-person lectures which allowed us to create our Virtual Symposium. This happened just in time, as a few days later cities throughout the state began issuing stay-at-home orders. While things shut down, we kept going.

Our Speakers’ Bureau events, in partnership with the Missouri State Historical Society, have always been an in-person lecture series. Due to the pandemic we were forced to take this series online, and we are now hosting weekly webinars with Speakers throughout the state; covering a wide variety of topics.

Our Veterans Program was scheduled to host another writers workshop, and again we moved to host this online as well. But one of our biggest challenges was in determining how to take our Cultural Heritage workshops to a digital space. These workshops are community focused, and draw in locals from rural communities. These event attendees are interested in placemaking for their towns and cities, how to draw tourism to their area, and how to boost their local Main Streets. In partnership with Missouri Main Street, Visit Hermann, Missouri State Parks, Perry County Tourism, Project for Public Spaces, and the Missouri Division of Tourism, we are hosting our first ever virtual Cultural Heritage Workshop on May 1st.

In these changing times, Missouri Humanities continues to show that we are able to ebb and flow with society. If we aren’t able to join you in your communities for in-person events, then we’ll work hard to bring our programs to your living room.

Be sure to check our events page for upcoming digital events!