Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Museum gets bailout from the city

The Claremont Museum of Art will live to see another day thanks to a $18,879 donation from the city. Actually about 50 mores days. The money will keep the Museum open throughout the end of the year. It will also buy museum officials some time to get more funding to keep the museum going beyond 2009.

Despite a unanimous vote from the city council at last night's meeting, council members were skeptical about handing over a large chunk of money to a non-profit organization at a time when the city has cut about 25 percent of its budget and laid off dozens of staff members.

Council member Peter Yao was frustrated with the idea of giving money to the museum without any assurance that they can sustain themselves past beyond the end of the year.

"We have a lot of needs within the city [like non-profits and struggling businesses]," Councilmember Peter Yao said. "It's really tough to say 'I'm going to help this one but I'm not going to help this one.' ... We're not a federal reserve bank. We can't help all the people out there as much as we'd like to help."

Museum board members promised to do all they can in the next few weeks to secure more donations. Fifty days isn't a lot of time to generate the kind of money they will need to maintain operations. Only time will tell if they can actually pull it off. And the clock is ticking.

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