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Why Museums Can’t Always Fall Back on Endowments

Category: Financial Sustainability
Adriaen Isenbrant, “Man Weighing Gold” (ca. 1515-20), oil on wood, 20 x 12 inches (The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931, courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

As funding sources experience a season of drought, and endowments have limitations as a subsidy, museums have an opportunity to explore new funding models and revenue streams for renewal.

“The crisis may provide such an opportunity: to look transparently at the ways in which institutions are funded, at the purpose and limitations of endowments, and the need for increased and alternative sources of support in the months to come.”

– Article authors

The COVID-19 pandemic may be an opportunity to look transparently at museum endowments and their limitations, and consider the need for alternative sources of support in the months to come. When Christy Coleman, executive director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in Virginia, an explainer about museum layoffs and budget shortfalls due to COVID-19, she was not prepared for the amount of attention it would receive.

Continue Reading at Hyperallergic

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