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Southwest Museum To Fully Close...

by RP Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009 at 3:11 PM

Autry Implements Full Closure, Returns Money and "Not Available" to Meet with Councilmember Jose Huizar Who's Offering Potential Signficant Funding. . . . THIS weekend from 12-5 p.m. either day, please stop by the Southwest Museum store, do some last minute holiday shopping but mostly, let them know you’ll miss them! This is the last weekend they're open.

From: Friends of the Southwest Museum Coalition

Autry Implements Full Closure, Returns Money and "Not Available" to Meet with

Councilmember Jose Huizar Who's Offering Potential Signficant Funding



A lot has happened in a few days, after a few months of silence on this issue. Thank you for your understanding as I hoped to get this out earlier.

1) Update (see below)

2) Call to Action -- this weekend from 12-5 either day, please stop by the Southwest Museum store, do some last minute holiday shopping but mostly, let them know you’ll miss them! Also, before you leave, we encourage you to leave a written message for John Gray encouraging Autry to meet with Councilmember Huizar and to re-open the Southwest Museum as a full-fledged museum. We can demonstrate in a positive way our continuing concern for the Southwest Museum’s uncertain future. Write the note before you go (maybe a leftover holiday card would be nice gesture) but if you can’t get to the Southwest Museum store, email John Gray at jgray@autrynationalcenter.org

3) 2010 – Next Coalition meeting getting planned. Please hold Jan. 14, 2010

Update:

A trifecta of news hit simultaneously, adding up to a perilous pattern in regards to the future of the first museum in Los Angeles:

A) News came from a SWM docent that Autry would cease weekend hours to the public, close the store and free public programming as of 12/31/09 and was hoping to just tell the docents their volunteer service was no longer needed but not officially tell the public. This cuts off public access to the museum just as they completed using the “public funds” to stabilize the tower. They plan to host 1-2 “members only” events a month.

B) Councilmember Jose Huizar told us at the last Coalition meeting that he was going to work to find potential funding to implement the rehabilitation plan done by Brenda Levin in 2004 (Option B) that would get a fully-functioning museum re-opened. By his letter to Autry, it appears that he’s found a package of funding scenarios to cover these costs but Autry has been “unavailable” to meet with him. Hence why we ask if you could send Autry your sentiments and encouragement to not refuse this huge financial opportunity.



C) Simultaneously, the Coalition discovered an Autry letter returning State grant funds set aside to waterproof the historic tunnel entrance and claimed that “For the moment and foreseeable future, the Autry must postpone making further capital investments there (SWM).” In these scarce funding times, it is utterly jaw-dropping that Autry would give funding back. And, their action also eliminates any possibility of Autry getting up to another 0,000 from this grant program that is currently available only to previous grantees. This is disinvestment in our community of the highest order.



So, below are a bunch of links to information and media coverage as this has unraveled and put a spotlight on the urgency of this issue yet again.



Wishing you the best for the rest of 2009 and Happy Holidays!

Nicole Possert, Chair



Our Press Release, Autry’s Letter to State:

http://www.friendsofthesouthwestmuseum.com/GrayReturnsFunds090809.html



Councilmember Jose Huizar’s Letter Offering Funding to Autry:

http://www.friendsofthesouthwestmuseum.com/HuizarToAutry091216.html



Wonderful 1938 Story about the tunnel entrance and better access for John Public:

http://www.friendsofthesouthwestmuseum.com/pueblonuestro091202.html

Media Coverage

LATimes:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2009/12/last-public-feature-of-southwest-museum-to-close-for-three-years.html



Eastern Group Publications:

http://egpnews.com/?p=14770



Eastsider LA blog:

http://www.theeastsiderla.com/2009/12/councilman-seeks-meeting-over-southwest.html#comments



MetBlog LA:

http://la.metblogs.com/2009/12/16/docent-reports-autry-museum-is-closing-southwest-museum/



MayorSam:

http://mayorsam.blogspot.com/



GriffithParkWayist

http://griffithparkwayist.blogspot.com/2009/12/autry-making-good-on-threat-to-close-sw.html



===

THIS weekend from 12-5 p.m. either day, please stop by the Southwest Museum store, do some last minute holiday shopping but mostly, let them know you’ll miss them! This is the last weekend they're open .... sorry this only revenue source for the Southwest Museum will no longer be part of the economy of Northeast LA. Please spread the word to friends in your various networks!

Also, the Friends of the Southwest Museum Coalition encourages all our friends and Southwest Museum supporters to leave a special holiday message/card for John Gray encouraging Autry to meet with Councilmember Huizar and to re-open the Southwest Museum as a full-fledged museum. We can demonstrate in a positive way our continuing concern for the Southwest Museum ’s uncertain future. If you can’t get to the Southwest Museum store, just email John Gray: jgray@autrynationalcenter.org



Finally, the Coalition will hold a member meeting in early January with more actions to come. Happy Holidays!



-- Nicole Possert

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