Los Altos History Museum welcomed 2021 with a note of sadness and hope, which I think captures how so many of us feel right now. We are sad to not be welcoming the public to our in-house curated special exhibition, “Rise Up! The Fight for Women’s Suffrage.” It sits in all its glory in our main gallery, without any visitors, at a time when voting and voting rights are such vital topics for our community and our nation. And we are sad to hear about those in the Museum community who have been struggling with COVID-19.
But we are also heartened by the recovery from COVID-19 of dear Museum members, and continue to hope that this current and most severe wave of the virus will be the last as the vaccine begins to immunize our community. That gives us reason to believe that we may yet be able to welcome visitors to Rise Up! before its scheduled closure date of February 21, 2021.
One thing I think we’ve grown accustomed to over the last nine months is that any plans for the future are tentative. The loss of that sense of control over our own activities has been hard to manage. But here at the Museum we’re reminded that plans are still moving forward, that progress is still being made. Right next door to us, the new Community Center continues to rise up. Each week that I come in to the office, I see more progress, more of the building completed. The pathway between the Museum and the Library is already done; the pathway between the Museum and the new Community Center is being worked on right now. And when it is done, the Museum will be better integrated into the pedestrian flow of the Community Center, and thereby, better integrated into the community.
I am so looking forward to that.
That unfinished building is a perfect symbol of where we are right now. Like a dam that retains water for future use, or the first rays at dawn as the sun rises, we can take comfort in the potential for the future that has been stored up, waiting to be tapped whenever we are ready.
Dr. Elisabeth Ward, Executive Director