NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — In March, the coronavirus pandemic forced the shut down of just about everything, including our cultural centers. Despite being closed; however, the outreach and work continued at the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Center, virtually and through projects like the Black Lives Matter mural painted on a wall close to the center.
This weekend, the mission will continue, in person.
The center announced on its website that it is welcoming visitors again beginning Saturday. Center Director Ally Spongr tells us that as they reopen, they will continue to use the past to give context to the present and the future.
"We always strive here at the heritage center to be talking about what's been going on in our world and in our community around us, whether it's our local Niagara Falls community or another community somewhere different in the United States," Spongr said. "Our visitors bring their stories to us, their struggles, or their triumphs... when it comes to freedom. And we talk about how do we see these things so that we can make change. "
Signage throughout the galleries will help visitors maintain social distance and ensure capacity levels are maintained. A maximum of 25 visitors are allowed inside at any one time.
Face coverings are required, and visitors are highly encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online. Hours remain Thursday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.