PAFA School of Fine Arts & Museum Reopening Plan

Learn more about the preventative measures PAFA is undertaking to reopen our physical spaces for the fall, while prioritizing the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and members of the public.

PAFA's Core Response Team (CRT) has met between 3 and 5 times per week since mid-March. The CRT's work has entailed consulting with health care experts; attending numerous webinars; talking with peers in art schools, colleges, and museums; keeping abreast of public health updates; following guidance from local, state, and federal authorities; monitoring the reopening plans of similar institutions; and gathering input from students, faculty, and staff.

While every effort has been made to create a comprehensive plan, given the rapidly changing public health environment and knowledge about the disease, these plans are subject to additions and changes.

The CRT has tried to balance three overall goals:

  • Protect the health and safety of PAFA's students, faculty, staff, and visitors, as well as contribute to improving the public health in our region.

  • Provide the best possible educational and engagement opportunities for our students, members, and public audiences.

  • Preserve the fiscal health and sustainability of PAFA.

Based on those efforts and goals, the CRT has arrived at the following plan through December 31, 2020. Plans for the Spring semester will be announced by November 1 to give the community time respond to changing recommendations for the health and safety of our campus and museum.

Core Response Team

David R. Brigham, Ph.D., President and CEO

Jane Allsopp, Chief Development Officer and Senior Vice President

Brooke Davis Anderson, Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum

Lisa Biagas, Ed.D., Senior Vice President of Human Resources & Title IX Coordinator

Jimmie Greeno III, Vice President of Safety and Security and Pandemic Safety Officer

Clint Jukkala, Dean of the School of Fine Arts

Kevin Martin, Director of Information Technology

Maryanne Murphy, Chief Financial Officer

Ed Poletti, Director of Facilities Management

Patrick Reiher, Public Relations Director

Anne Stassen, Dean of Students

Monica Zimmerman, Vice President of Public Education and Engagement

General Safety Measures

General Safety measures will include:

  • Engage Main Line Health as expert advisors and providers. Their contracted services include:

    • on-site testing

    • Contact tracing

    • Plan for and manage an on-campus outbreak, if necessary

    • Review plans to date and recommend necessary improvements

    • Provide mandatory trainings to educate the PAFA community about safety protocols and what they need to do to contribute to the general wellbeing of our faculty, staff, students, and visitors.

  • Daily temperature checks upon arrival for all students, faculty, staff, museum visitors, and anyone else entering the PAFA buildings.
  • Daily answering of questions related to COVID-19, using an application developed by ComplianceHR, prior to reporting to campus.
  • Masks will be required to be worn by all students, faculty, and staff at all times while inside PAFA’s buildings. All constituents, including visitors, must arrive wearing their own masks. 
  • De-densify classes and activity in common spaces.
  • Eliminate activities that result in large gatherings of people. 
  • Stagger work and class schedules.
  • Routine cleaning will be provided by Clean Tech and PAFA’s Operations Staff during regular business hours.
  • Intensive daily cleaning will be provided by Clean Tech, nightly.
  • All members of the PAFA community will be required to sign a PAFA Pledge outlining their responsibilities to help keep everyone safe.
  • Follow Museum industry best practices for safe and enjoyable visits.
    • Wayfinding and occupancy capacity signage will be added to help visitors safely navigate the galleries and elevators while maintaining physical distancing.
  • All in-person instruction will conclude before Thanksgiving, and the fall semester will continue online until December 11 for undergraduates and December 15 for graduate students.  This will help to reduce student travel and the risk of spreading infection.
  • Any PAFA student who wishes to complete the fall semester entirely through online platforms, may do so.


To reduce campus density overall, most staff will work remotely through December 31, 2020.  Members of the following teams will work on campus, at least partial schedules: Senior Staff, Security, Housekeeping, Facilities; School Shop, Lab, and Library; Museum Registrar, Art Installation, Museum Store, and VEA Staff.  Other staff may work on campus with the approval of their supervisor and in consultation with Jimmie Greeno. 

All Student Services will be provided online.

Staff who work in the HLB are required to enter through the Broad Street entrance.  Likewise, staff who work in the Hamilton Building are required to enter through the Broad Street entrance of that building.

First Year Students: Historic Landmark Building

First-Year students and new transfer students will work only in the Historic Landmark Building and will enter through the Broad Street entrance.  First-year studio courses will be a blend of on-campus and online learning.  The approximately 44–50 incoming students will work in small classroom settings of about 7 students per room. Art History, Writing, and Foundation Experience will all be taught online.

The Historic Landmark Building will be open to students, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM–6:00 PM, and will be accessible only to students taking first-year studio courses.

Upper Level and Graduate Students: Hamilton Building

All undergraduate liberal arts and seminar courses will be held online. All upper level undergraduate studio courses will be online, with the exception of Landscape Painting and some critic meetings, which will be offered in a hybrid format.

Graduate seminars will be taught online and graduate studio courses and critiques will be a blend of on-campus and online modes, as outlined by Graduate Chair, Kevin Richards.

Undergraduate students in the second year and up and graduate students will only be working and studying in the Samuel M. V. Hamilton Building. All in-person instruction for all students will conclude before Thanksgiving, and the fall semester will continue online until December 11 for undergraduates and December 15 for graduate students.

Shops, labs, and individual studios will be closed after Thanksgiving.

Hamilton Building Personal Studios

Personal studios will open July 13 and remain open five days per week, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM–6:00 PM. Students will be required to schedule the days they will be on campus.  Schedules will be arranged via an online form shared with students. Questions should be directed to Kate McCammon (

Beginning August 27, studio hours will expand to 8:00 AM until 10:00PM, with access seven days a per week. The studios will be accessible to MFA students and undergraduates in their final year of study at PAFA. This will comprise about 100 students. They will be spread out among floors 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10.

Studios shared by third-year students and the shared studio on the 7th floor will not be open.

Each student's security badge will control which floors they can access. For example, an MFA student who is a sculptor with studio space on the 10th floor will be permitted to access the 7th and 10th floors.

Workshops & Digital Labs

Hands-on experiences in the fall for upper level undergraduate students and graduate students will include access to printmaking and sculpture workshops and digital labs.  These spaces will be open Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM–5:00 PM. 

Access to workshops and labs will be scheduled by appointment.

Arcadia Fine Arts Library

The Library will be closed for on-site study.  However, librarian Brian Duffy ( will make books and other library materials available for pickup at the West Desk of the Student Entrance. Email your requests to and Brian will let you know when they are available for pickup.

Papermaking Studio

The papermaking studio will be closed during the fall semester.

Student Employment and Internships

To reduce campus density, there will be no internships and co-ops for outside candidates or student work study at PAFA for the rest of 2020.

Stiles Hall

PAFA will offer student housing at Stiles Hall. Each student will have a private bedroom, with no more than 2 students per apartment.

Each apartment in Stiles Hall includes a bathroom, kitchen, and living area. Drexel University (from which we rent space in Stiles Hall) is reserving COVID-19 isolation rooms to quarantine any students in the event they become infected.

Stiles Hall will be staffed by PAFA's Vice President for Safety and Security Jimmie Greeno III, Director of Residential Life Katherine Volpe, and two Resident Assistants.

Annual Student Exhibition (ASE)

The 119th Annual Student Exhibition (September 11–October 4, 2020) will be installed in the Historic Landmark Building (Alumni Gallery, North Wall of the Salon Gallery, and Gallery 9), and all three public levels of the Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building.

Installation will begin on August 3. 

The ASE will open to the members and essential workers on September 11 and to the general public on September 12. The exhibition will close on October 4.

ASE Preview Party

The ASE Preview Party will take place on September 10 as a virtual event. Each student will provide digital images of their artwork, which will be loaded onto Give Smart, an online sales platform.

Guests will be permitted into the online sale in time slots, based on the level of their ticket purchase, just as they would for the usual onsite event. 

The ASE will open to the members and essential workers on September 11 and to the general public on September 12. The exhibition will close on October 4.

Class of 2020 Commencement Exercises

While PAFA had planned and intended for an in-person commencement for the class of 2020 to take place in September, to coincide with the opening of the Annual Student Exhibition, the current public health threat of COVID-19 is such that this will no longer be possible. Instead, an online celebration will be held in September, and 2020 graduates will be invited to an in-person graduation in May 2021, provided that public health circumstances have improved by then. 

Bacchanal Wine Auction and Gala

PAFA’s annual scholarship benefit, Bacchanal, will also be held as a virtual event.  PAFA will sell sponsorships and individual tickets.  Guests will have food and wine delivered to their homes on the day of the event.  The event will include live and recorded content, an auction, and a paddle raise. 


The Museum will open the Historic Landmark Building to members and essential workers on September 3-6 as a soft opening, and both buildings of the Museum to members and essential workers on September 11.  The Museum will open to the public on September 12.

Learn more about the Museum's reopening plan, which was announced on July 1.

The Dorothy and Kenneth Woodcock Archives & The Center for the Study of the American Artist

The Archives and Study Center will be closed for on-site study and collection visits.

PAFA's Archivist, Hoang Tran, will provide online office hours to provide services to faculty, staff, students, and outside researchers.

Museum Store

The Museum Store will operate on the same hours as the Museum galleries. Occupancy will be limited to three (3) customers at a time.

Tableau Café

Tableau Café will resume operations for staff, faculty, and students only on July 13.

All customers must enter through the Broad Street Lobby and exit into the Maguire Gallery. Summer hours of operation are 8:00 AM–2:00 PM.

The Café will open to the public when the Museum reopens on September 11, with the following hours:

Thursday–Friday 8:00 AM–4:00 PM
Saturday–Sunday 11:00 AM–5:00 PM

Service through the end of 2020 will be takeout only.

Furniture will be consolidated to allow for a waiting area for coffee orders. All food will be pre-packaged by Constellation in its central kitchen. There will be no open containers of food or food prepared on-site, such as soups, bagels, and panini.

Facility Rentals

All outside events will be limited to no more than 25 guests. 

Larger parties may accommodated through virtual meeting technology, provided at the expense of the client and contracted through approved vendors by PAFA's Events team.

Public Education and Engagement

Continuing Education

There will be no in-person CE instruction through the end of 2020. This includes all pre-college and adult programs. All courses and programs offered by Continuing Education will be offered through Canvas and other online platforms.

School Community Partnership Programs

Provided that the schools are prepared to partner with PAFA, programs will be offered remotely to PAFA's partner schools in Fentonville and North Kensington.

High School After-School Programs

Public Education is currently evaluating whether these programs will be offered online. They will not be available for on-site instruction.

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Thomas Eakins, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.