2020 was certainly a year like no other; and 2021 is still uncertain as museums and cultural organizations continue to make their way through the COVD-19 pandemic – working to reopen their doors.
For WMA, this meant the postponement of our 2020 and 2021 Annual Meetings and a rethinking of future programming. Not being able to gather in-person, we invited people to stay connected with the WMA community through #WestMuseMail.
Inspired by the ongoing community mail art project PostSecret, originally created back in 2005 by artist Frank Warren, our 2020-2021 social campaign #WestMuseMail invited everyone across the museum field to send in personalized postcards.
Sure, postcards may seem like relics of the snail-mail age, but they could still provide a sense of encouragement and happiness in an affordable and highly personal way. As one of the most thoughtful and easiest methods of communication, postcards were a great way to bring joy to all of us who were still homebound, isolated, or far away from family and friends. Beyond this, postcards had the ability to document our individual COVID-19 experiences – connecting us between handwritten messages and creating a society where we no longer felt six feet apart.
Every month, WMA asked people to grab a postcard from their local museum, post office, stationary store, or desk drawer; write out a positive note, draw something, or reflect on personal experiences; and mail the postcard to WMA's P.O. Box. WMA then shared out selected postcards on social media creating an online, visual exhibition of our 2020 experiences, sharing the simple reminder that a brighter future awaits. See what people shared by visiting #WestMuseMail on Instagram or heading over to the WestMuse Blog.