July 31st Update:

Ella Sharp Museum to Reduce Hours of Operation

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in order to be fiscally responsible during these trying times, Ella Sharp Museum has made the difficult decision to reduce hours of operation. Employees of Ella sharp Museum will be furloughed or see reduced hours and salaried staff have taken a pay reduction for the remainder of 2020.

Beginning Sunday, August 2, Ella Sharp Museum will be closed every Monday and Tuesday while remaining open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed every day from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. for cleaning and on Sundays, open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. with cleaning done before doors open. Collection tours and house tours will remain closed.

Due to operation changes, the museum has also made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining 2020 Patio Parties.

The museum is confident these measures will not impact the steps to a safe and healthy visit to Ella Sharp Museum.

The museum will continue to offer programming and new exhibits. For the most recent updates on public events, classes, and exhibits, please visit

Thank you for your continued support. Ella Sharp Museum greatly appreciates your cooperation and understanding of the museum’s decision. These efforts are to ensure the longevity of Ella Sharp Museum.

For questions, please contact Valerie Herr, Director of External Affairs 517-787-2320 or

July 16th Update:

Ella Sharp Museum COVID-19 Update

Ella Sharp Museum is excited to reopen and engage with our community. We’re excited to welcome members back beginning July 21, and the general public on Saturday, July 25th after a temporary closure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Capacities are limited as we continue to prioritize health and safety.

The museum will be open Tuesdays through Saturday from 10 am until 5 pm, closed everyday from 12 pm to 12:30 pm for cleaning; Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm with cleaning done in the morning before doors open. Collection tours and house tours will remain closed.

For free admission and preferred entry, become a member today.

To ensure a safe environment for our guests and staff, we are implementing “4 Steps for a Safe and Healthy Visit.” These steps, including our mask and social distancing policies, are necessary to maintain a healthy environment for everyone as we carefully reshape our institution for the future.

Maintain 6 feet or more between yourself, staff, and other guests.

Face masks are required in all indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as during the ticketing and admission process.

The Ella Sharp Museum is following the state guideline recommendations for mask wearing. Please reference the latest updates from the Executive Order, No. 2020-147, Masks.

Comprehensive (and consistent) cleaning procedures are in place, so you can enjoy your visit with peace of mind.

Keep the health of all guests in mind. Please thoroughly wash your hands during your visit.

If you are experiencing any of the Covid-19 symptoms or have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 we ask that you refrain from visiting our museum.

For a sneak peek at our upcoming exhibits please click here.

For questions please contact Valerie Herr, Director of External Affairs 517-787-2320 or

April 13th Update:

Ella Sharp Museum COVID-19 Update

Dear Friends,

As you know, Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe extension keeps businesses closed until April 30th. Because the health and safety of our community, our staff, and volunteers is our top priority, the Ella Sharp Museum and Hurst Planetarium will remain closed into May.

We plan to phase in our reopening. First we will bring staff into the building where we can assess our ability to purchase appropriate cleaning supplies. We are eager to reopen our exhibit galleries and the Planetarium but we want to be certain we can accommodate you safely.

We are also monitoring all governmental recommendations regarding group gatherings and social distancing. Once we are confident of our ability to meet these guidelines for our galleries, events, and programs, we will announce an opening date on our social media channels and through our regular communication emails.

In the meantime, our staff team is working hard to create new activities you can access from home. We’re preparing virtual classes and events and are planning to launch them soon.

Until then, please enjoy the #MuseumFromHome

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube where you’ll find highlights from our collections, fun suggestions for do-at-home activities, and educational videos exploring science activities.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Diane Gutenkauf
Executive Director of Ella Sharp Museum

March 13th Update:

The Ella Sharp Museum will temporarily close in response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

To the Jackson Community,

At the Ella Sharp Museum, you and all the members of our community are our top priority. Our commitment is to maintain an environment that is safe for our visitors, staff, members, and all supporters.

Today, the museum made the difficult decision to temporarily close to the public. We will close effective at 5 p.m. on March 13 through April 13. We are actively monitoring developments related to COVID-19 and listening to the guidance of authorities including the Jackson County Health Department, State of Michigan, and the CDC.

We are following the recommendations of local, state, and national officials who have advised that “social distancing” is a critical measure to reduce the spread of the COVID-19. The museum has no known cases of exposure to COVID-19.

All public events, on-site education programs, classes, and guided tours to be held at the museum will not occur during the temporarily closure. This includes all public programming and events in the Hurst Planetarium, the annual Sugaring, Shearing, & Science Festival, Ella’s Explorers, Ceramic Classes, & State-wide Astronomy Night.

We are working closely with community partners, members, volunteers, and scheduled group visitors to keep them informed about the updated closure.  For the most recent updates on public events, classes, and exhibits, please visit or visit our Facebook page: Ella Sharp Museum.

What measures we’re taking at the museum:

  • Temporarily closing our doors at 5 p.m. on March 13 through April 13.
  • Increase the cleanliness of public spaces for future visitors, staff, and our community.
  • Keeping employees informed about developments and community updates.

Get the most up-to-date information:

Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for accurate updates and recommendations related to coronavirus.

We greatly appreciate your cooperation and understanding of the museum’s decision to temporarily close. These steps will ensure that our community can return to the museum knowing that safety is our top priority.

While our doors are closed, the staff will be on site prepping for future programming, events, and exhibits. We eagerly look forward to opening our doors in the near future.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Diane Gutenkauf
Executive Director of Ella Sharp Museum