Local businesses are pivoting quickly to help support their communities during the COVID-19 emergency. From printing 3D personal protection devices for medical personnel to a bakery hiring to meet the sudden demand for bread, these several Baltimore businesses represent the best of us in the worst of times.
Community maker space Open Works helped mobilize the making of protective face shields for local front-line medical staff by using 3D printing technology as part of Makers Unite!, a global collaborative emergency response by makers to address challenges in supply chains.
Jill Andrews is known for her stunning wedding gowns, but these days is focused on making protective cloth face masks for medical staff and laypeople alike. Pulling in partners with experience in laser-cutting fabrics and shipping men’s shaving equipment, this new venture was able to get up and running quickly.
H&S Bakery announced it would need to hire as many as 50 new workers to meet the increasing demand for bread in Baltimore-area grocery stores. Many everyday supplies now leave the shelves as soon as they are delivered.
In addition to demands for bread, hand-sanitizer was one of the first items to fly off the shelves in stores. Responding to community needs, various local liquor distilleries such as Baltimore Spirits Company have gotten innovative and have started making hand sanitizer to help supply health systems and public services such as Johns Hopkins and Meals on Wheels.
Many businesses have been forced to shut down because of COVID-19, and some have found new ways to remain open while also meeting the community's needs. Common Ground Cafe is expanding their menu of coffee and muffins to include grocery, pantry, and household items such as milk, eggs, and even toilet paper--thereby redefining the meaning of a corner store.
Photos courtesy of Elliott Watson
The Museum That
Works (From Home)
The museum continues to be closed until at least April 30. Despite the closure, staff continues to work hard, knowing that museums can offer a rich learning experience even when families are at home. To that end, we now offer activities designed and collected by our remarkable education staff and available here. We hope this page, which we’ll update regularly with new activities that explore local industry, will inspire the inventors and innovators of tomorrow. There’s even content for adults including virtual tours, and a surprisingly difficult quiz on industrial history!
The museum parking lot recently began use as a COVID-19 patient testing site in a community partnership with MedStar Health, Inc. Recognizing the benefit to helping stem the tide of people going to hospitals for the tests, we were happy to support the South Baltimore community by providing space for a test site during the time the museum is closed.
Lastly, spring is typically the busiest time of the year at the BMI, with galleries packed full of school children visiting on field trips by day, and proms, weddings, and other events taking advantage of our waterfront terrace on warm nights. But this year is different. The belt-driven lathes in the machine shop are still. There are no middle schoolers cramming themselves into the vintage Packard in the transportation gallery for a selfie. No marriage vows are being recited in the presence of the 1906 Steam Tug Baltimore. Spring represents the time when 65% of our operating revenue is earned. We need your help to make it through this crisis. Please consider making a gift today to help support the museum.