OCTOBER 27, 2020 — While the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures has been closed to museum patrons over the last six months, staff have been actively engaging in behind-the-scenes work both on and off-site to help advance the museum toward reopening safely and securely to the public.
A clean-up project has been initiated to catalog, organize and assess the many items stored in the building, including old furniture, outdated electronics, tech gear and computers, and other goods.
Museum staff and archivists dedicated to this project will meticulously evaluate items, primarily focusing on the first and third floors of the ITC—where many employee offices and storage spaces are located. Exhibits on the second floor—which house the majority of the exhibit space—are not a part of this cleanup project and will not be moved or altered.
“Our goal is to identify surplus items for proper removal or disposal,” said Veronica Rodriguez, interim head curator of the ITC. “Museum staff will be careful to identify artifacts or items of historical value to ITC and UTSA archives. Those items will be retained and stored appropriately.”
As part of the plan, staff from the ITC, the UTSA Libraries administrative core and UTSA Facilities and Risk Management units are working together hand in hand on this cleanup project. A new member of the ITC team has been hired to help spearhead facilities and operational efforts in the building: Vinny Genco will serve as operations specialist for the ITC and will work in conjunction with the libraries’ administration staff on the project. Genco previously served as events coordinator in Campus Services at UTSA.
The UTSA Facilities department, under the leadership of the Senior Vice President for Business Affairs, is an important partner with the ITC on this project, Rodriguez said. Associate Vice President for Facilities Paul Goodman and his team will provide oversight and expertise.
“Associate VP Goodman and his hard-working team have been valuable organizational partners in determining efficiencies in the project so that the building is properly cleaned and secured,” Rodriguez said. “With their help, we are hopeful the cleanup project will be a crucial first step in getting the building prepared so that we may safely welcome guests back through our doors.”
UTSA leadership, with guidance from the UTSA Public Health Task Force and ITC staff, will identify a reopening date for the museum to the public once the cleanup project is complete.