This story from the Mercury News makes me really sad, not just because it's yet another museum on the brink of financial ruin, but for more personal reasons.
Just about a year ago, I chaired a session at the California Association of Museums annual conference with one of the staff members from the Fresno Met as one of my panelists. I was so inspired by what she had accomplished there--maintaining memberships and membership revenues despite the fact that they didn't have a building--and that construction that was supposed to last for one year lasted for three years!
To me, the story that the Fresno Met had to tell was truly remarkable, so it makes me doubly sad to see them now, a year later, in such awful trouble. What on earth happened? Was the timing just wrong thanks to the economy that completely tanked? Was it a matter of the fallacy of "if you build it, they will come"--that is, did the Fresno Met just assume that once the new building was open that they could relax? Whatever it was, and perhaps it was a perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances, I hated seeing this in the news.