FRIENDS OF THE SOUTHWEST MUSEUM COALITION
its beginning in January 2003, The Coalition has met over 15 times, negotiated
regularly with Museum management, solicited Museum attendance and membership,
provided publicity and volunteered at Museum events. Despite this, we
have never been given a business plan or any type of commitment to the
future of the Southwest Museum on Mount Washington.
We believe that we
delayed an expected 2003 Museum closing, ensured continuance of the Intertribal
Marketplace and showed the viability of the Mount Washington location
of the Museum. Information provided at our March 2005 Coalition meeting
showed that both the Autry National Center study conducted by Brenda Levin
and Associates and the Coalition's peer review of this document by independent
consultants, support this viability.
However, the Autry
National Center has stated in a public relations document sent to elected
officials that: "A 2003 study conducted by Brenda Levin and Associates
found... it would not be economically viable to rehabilitate the Southwest
Museum and continue operating it only as a public museum." Additionally,
the Autry presented a timeline in this PR document that included community
meetings to occur in Spring 2005" "Public meetings are to be
held with specialists to vet all the issues." These meeting have
The latest development
is that the Autry National Center president, John Gray, has refused to
meet with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Coalition representatives—
indicating that negotiations are closed and that the intent is that the
proposed 100,000 sq, ft. expansion in Griffith Park will become the Southwest
Museum. It would seem that the Autry National Center believes it has the
financial and political strength to make this happen.
We believe we have
many potential strategic approaches at this time. Fundraising from our
March meeting was very successful. We have legal representation standing
by. We have issued two area-wide press releases, regarding recent developments.
We are considering demonstrations, corporate contact and activities. To
stay informed, bookmark THIS web site and check it regularly.
We appreciate your
contact us now...