Yet such steady ticket sales cover just a third of the museum's operating budget.
"The tickets we sell for visitors to come don't cover all the expenses," Executive Director
That's where donations come in, along with state funding when it is available.
In a post-recession era, museums have experienced dropoffs in private donations and public grants, experts say. Becker said although his organization cuts costs with a volunteer staff equivalent to 15 paid full-time employees, the museum's grant of
"We have expenses many museums don't have," said Becker, noting the fully operational trolley line that visitors ride. "That helps to cover our overhead."
Other allocations went to attractions such as Fallingwater in
"It's a lot easier to fundraise for an exhibit or program or something special," he said. "To fundraise to help defray some of the day-to-day costs is more difficult."
With the state nearing a projected deficit of
"We're really happy to have this money this year," he said. "Moving forward, we don't know. There's a lot of things at play in this year's budget."
Rivers of Steel works in the eight-county region to develop industrial sites in ways that commemorate and honor the area's industrial history. Leaders maintain and host tours of the Carrie Blast Furnaces in
"We use it for outreach in the community," he said of the money. "It goes towards helping pay staff, some interns and others that will be doing technical assistance projects."
The money helps cover day-to-day operating expenses such as phone and Internet bills, and will help offset the purchase of boxes for quilt storage for an ongoing project.
In addition to running thematic youth and adult programs, much of the foundation's work includes fielding questions and tracking down answers on landmarks, artifacts, preservation or area history. Applegate works closely with other organizations, especially as they've had to cut resources, she said.
"With our coalition of historical groups, we're trying to work closely together," she said.
Becker, at the trolley museum, said
"When you go to visit an area, lots of things are similar," Becker said. "A lot of the restaurants are national chains. A lot of the hotels are national chains. It's places like museums that tend to make that area unique."
(c)2014 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)
Visit The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) at www.triblive.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services