Home Opinion Dear Editor Letter: RMAC a ‘priceless asset that deserves support’

Letter: RMAC a ‘priceless asset that deserves support’

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Since opening as a WPA art center in 1937, the Roswell Museum and Art Center has enriched Roswell’s quality of life through meaningful experiences in art, history and space science. The museum gives us a sense of place and is a cultural anchor for our community. It is also a unique classroom where we can learn about the art and history of the Southwest or the endeavors of pioneers such as Robert Goddard whose rocket principles still guide America’s space exploration. All residents are welcomed free of charge and the museum is a tourist destination that provides economic value to the community.

As a partial solution to the financial distress facing the city, the museum, along with the zoo and golf course, are to be placed in a “special enrichment services” fund requiring these departments to raise 70% of their operating budget.

This is to begin in July 2021. Currently, the Museum contributes 18%, so 70% is a huge increase. That maneuver, most certainly, will have a negative impact on the museum’s future.

To quote our city manager, if the community uses these services, they will support it. Well, the fallacy in this line of thinking is the inability of a substantial portion of our community to pay for those services. Many families and individuals cannot financially support a museum if they do not have the resources to do so and they should not be denied access to a museum that provides a high quality of life. The museum is a lifeline and should be protected.

As the city looks to reduce and recover cost, I am asking our city officials to lead with vision and insight by showing that they value our museum and its accessibility to the community by finding other ways to work together to bridge the financial gap. RMAC is a world-class jewel that is rare in a community of our size, a credit to our All American City and a source of pride to those who live here.

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This is a priceless asset that deserves support from our elected and appointed officials and our community at large. The museum should be in the city’s general budget because it truly is for the city’s general population.

Elaine Howe

Roswell

 

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