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Kern County Museum creating two new exhibits on protests and COVID-19 pandemic, needs your help

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Posted at 12:00 AM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 13:04:12-04

BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Over the past few months, the nation has been watching history in the making and the Kern County Museum wants to make sure it's never forgotten.

The museum, like many other organizations, have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then it has reopened its outside portion only since June 3.

Now, it's asking for the community's help to contribute to history and assist with a special project.
The museum is working on two new exhibits and needs artifacts from residents.

The first is called Preserve the Protest and the other is Capturing Covid in Kern.

Bethany Rice, the curator of collections at the Kern County Museum, says the goal is to document these two historical moments in our community.

"The idea of Preserving the Protest and Capturing Covid in Kern was inspired when we wanted to learn about the 1918 pandemic and other protests from the past in Kern County, and we just didn't have any information to draw on," Rice said.

Rice says they are asking for first-hand experiences of these two current events. This includes-- anything from quotes, pictures, and videos.

Also, they will have contributors fill out a questionnaire that they can email in or drop off with an artifact.
"We will have a booklet directed towards children and ask what school was like during covid? What were they nervous about? What did their family do? How did they celebrate things," said Rice. "So it will be an opportunity to make this a more positive experience."

Rice says the goal is to make this kind of information accessible to the community and researchers in the future. Also, to make sure that Kern County is apart of the historical archives.

"We'll have revolving exhibits quarterly. So we will have some sort of temporary exhibit, once we have a great capture of what happened in Kern County, and we'll have quotes and experiences pulled from different people's signs," said Rice. "We want to make sure that we're telling the whole historical narrative. So whether these
protests were for BLM, against BLM, or Patriot Rallies, against sheltering in place; we want to make sure we cover everything, because we want that full narrative."

Rice adds that this just the beginning of the project. The museum hopes to do a yearly check-in with the COVID-19 pandemic and the protests in Kern County.

"Honestly, we are still in the midst of it right now, so I can’t even say that the historical events have finished for us to have finished capturing everything," Rice said.