The Academy Museum opening planned for April 30 has been postponed. Bill Kramer, Director and President of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, officially announced that the long-awaited opening would open to the public on Sept. 30, 2021. It will be preceded by a suite of opening events, including a gala on Sept. 25.
“We knew it was going to be a mid-December decision,” says Kramer in an interview with Variety. “I’d have to launch a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign to open the museum and sell tickets. We would need to double the size of the staff, hire security, retail workers, ticket takes, and all of the frontline items. This was the moment where we said, do we make that investment, given what’s happening with the pandemic?”
He goes on to say, “It would be irresponsible to keep saying that we’re opening in April at this point. Following what Dr. Fauci is saying about the rollout of the vaccine, we think public gatherings of scale may be able to happen in late summer.”
The Academy Museum will continue to work towards having everything ready in April to begin the grand opening momentum. Kramer shared that the museum will be launching a series of virtual programs to bring the exhibitions and objects to the world, free to the public. That effort is being led by Jacqueline Stewart, Chief Artistic and Programming Officer. The interactive components and programming will be available through the Academy museum’s website and app, which has yet to be released.
The Academy has been making a strategic and concentrated effort towards inclusivity and representation. In Sept., the organization announced the Academy’s new diversity and inclusion requirements to submit a film for best picture as part of their Academy Aperture 2025 initiative. This is set to take effect in 2024.
Kramer says, “Our goal is to show the world our history, good and bad, not erase anything, contextualize, and create a safe space for everyone to be a part of the industry moving forward. We are building exhibitions, programs in gallery programs, education programs that welcome everybody into the museum. When you do that, with honesty, transparency, compassion, and creating safe spaces, we’re deeply committed to that.”
In telling these stories, the Academy assembled an Inclusion Advisory Committee, chaired by producer Effie T. Brown (2014’s “Dear White People”), and is a collective of 24 Academy members from the Black, Latinx, Indigenous People, Asian, LGBTQ and disabled communities. This also works in conjunction with the 17 Academy branch task force, ensuring accuracy in their respective craft areas. Kramer says the museum will be offering multiple language translations of audio, education and gallery guides for visitors.
In a statement, Ted Sarandos, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Academy Museum, stated, “Despite the many challenges of 2020, the museum has accomplished a great deal this year: completing its pre-opening fundraising campaign, obtaining LEED Gold certification and the installation of exceptional exhibitions. We are fortunate to have one of the world’s most exciting new cultural institutions ready to go. Now it’s just a matter of patience, for all of us, as we look ahead to opening our doors on September 30.”