Monday, we welcomed guest speaker Jennifer Matotek, Executive Director from the Art Gallery of Windsor to discuss how the AGW has pivoted during COVID.
She started with the questions “What can an art gallery do?” and then explained that they want the AGW to inspire, make people want to learn and get people out of the house.
The first step of their COVID plan was making sure that they had a strong internet connection so that they were accessible online. Their online presence included the launched digital artist and panel discussions; moving the conversation over to Zoom allowed people from both the US and Canada to participate in the discussion. They got a lot of great feedback from people outside of the region.
The AGW launched their YouTube channel where families can follow along and do artwork at home. They hope to collect some of the art made by our community members and turn it into an exhibit.  
Today, you can also account on the AGW for Virtual Gallery tours, Outdoor workshops and virtual workshops. However, the cold weather means they’ll be cutting back on outdoor workshops. Most recently, they led a photography workshop that correlates with their exhibit.
Combining outdoor workshops with virtual workshops, the fee for those workshops is “pay what you may” and uses supplies that you would have at home.
They believe that we all have something to learn. The AGW offered a Critique the Collection for Cash segment - inviting folks from the community to critique the artwork and publish the critiques online while the AGW was closed for Covid.
The shift allowed them to expand their search for an intern, this year working with a young woman from across the border virtually! They also focused on more social justice initiatives. They hosted a black artist series launched over the summer to celebrate and showcase their work.
Community is embedded in the fabric of the AGW. They want to make this a hub for the community that is accessible and has something to offer for all ages. They want to be where the people are. That means that they’ve launched a new initiative to have artwork copied and placed in unexpected places throughout the community.
They’re working on a virtual field trip portal since they cannot welcome students at this time. They want to focus on looking through different lenses, history and challenging intolerance.
They are a 21st-century art gallery. This means they’ve swapped the long text descriptions and opted for an audio smartphone tour that you can do with your iPhone in both French and English.  Most importantly, it increases access to those who are visually impaired!
The next steps for the AGW are, “How do we Gamify the AGW, AR, VR and gaming?” How do they make the in-person experience and in the community more dynamic – like Pokémon Go by incorporating artificial reality, virtual reality? How to create an experience in virtual art that is more engaging to engage new audiences? They are currently exploring and hope to launch some new innovations to the art gallery soon!

The following part of the meeting honoured the life of Gary Champ.
Passionate about education, he was remembered by everyone as motivated, kind-hearted and a critical thinker. All will miss him.