"They're just ancient, probably from the '70s,"
The executive director of the museum envisions the center's experience as the spark for individuals of all ages to look at things differently; however, decades of dwindling funds have left the museum outdated and with a surplus of aged exhibits, she said.
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As a result, the museum leans on hand-made exhibits, such as artist
"People don't understand," Macbeth said. "They see the big, new building; they see the space; they think we have a lot of money.
"We don't have any money. We're paying salaries; that's what we're doing," she said.
The center established in 1967 has received funding from the city since its earliest developing stages. Prior to 2007, the city regularly contributed
According to minutes from a 2012 commission meeting, city officials agreed to no longer fund "other charities, including ... the
After Macbeth pleaded with the commission to contribute that year, the city squeezed out
Other cities didn't contribute, so the museum received just
"We're weaning them down," Mayor
Next year's budget will "probably not" see any dollars for the museum, Brudnicki said, noting private companies should contribute to the museum because STEM-related skills are a needed workforce throughout the county.
"If the city is going to make a charitable donation to someone and we take the taxpayers' money and use that and you pay taxes, you may want me to give it to somebody else," he said. "Our goal is to try to keep our property taxes as low as possible so people have the ability to give to the charities they want to give to. "
However, Macbeth believes the city should support the center as it does other local cultural attractions.
In the upcoming fiscal year,
The city supports those three agencies because, unlike the
"We don't technically consider them other agencies," she said. "We consider them our buildings that we're taking care of."
The museum is the only outside agency to which the city continues to contribute, Waldron said.
The center is majority funded by money earned through its academy for ages 3 to 5, science camps, admission fees and grants. But, with
She said she'd like city officials to view their contributions as "icing" and "to invest in exhibits that we can change quickly."
Standing next to an incorrect Table of Elements mounted on a wall in a room about human bones, Macbeth pleaded her case, again.
"They don't consider that we are a city museum," she said. "They don't really take credit for us, but I really wish they would."
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-- GALLERY »
By the numbers
City's annual museum contributions*:
*Contributions go back to 1967, but were not available Monday
City's contributions to cultural agencies for FY 2013-2014:
- Science and
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