Now try and understand what the DCMS ‘Big Society’ plan is all about
The museum of Modern Art in New York has announced an increase in its admission price for adults to $25 from the current $20 starting in September. The museum is the second arts institution to raise prices in recent months the Metropolitan Museum of Art raised its suggested admission price to $25 in June. This is the type of price trend to expect if museum charging becomes part of the British way of life. Executives at MoMA said since its last admissions increase in 2004, the museum has faced escalating costs in nearly all aspects of operations, leaving them no choice but to raise their prices. Costs have especially increased on the transportation and insurance needed for temporary exhibitions, and on employee benefits. American museums are dependent on private donations and count on philanthropic support ,much in the way David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt are engineering the ‘Big Society’ plans for the future running of museums in the UK.“We have tried to hold our prices now for as long as we could at their current level,” said Glenn Lowry, director of MoMA. “But unlike some institutions that are city-funded, we don’t receive city funding for our operating budget and depend entirely on earned revenues.” This is what happens when public funds are deviated away from culture. There always seems to be enough money in the coffers to support wars in far away places like Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Lowry said it costs the museum about $50 per visitor, half of which is underwritten by the trustees, endowment income, and other fundraising. Without the increased earned income, MoMA would no longer be able to balance its $120 million budget. Mr. Lowry stated, he expected a slight decrease in attendance from the fee hike, but said the museum offered numerous ways for the public to come for less, including Friday evenings for free. When MoMA raised prices to $20 nearly seven years ago, it received negative press and public outcry for being the most expensive museum in the city. But the public quickly got used to it and MoMA has enjoyed many years of record visitors since.Tickets for seniors will cost $18 under the new pricing structure, and students will cost $14. Children aged 16 and under will still get in for free. Arts experts said they expected more museums to raise their prices.“At most museums, admission prices only account for 10% to 20% of revenue generation,” said Geri Thomas, president of ArtStaffing.com, a consulting firm specializing in culture. “Everybody’s trying to push up a little bit on fees here and there in order to survive.”Is the the way ahead? or is it putting art out of reach to the poor?
Founded in 1929 as an educational institution, The Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world.Through the leadership of its Trustees and staff, The Museum of Modern Art manifests this commitment by establishing, preserving, and documenting a permanent collection of the highest order that reflects the vitality, complexity and unfolding patterns of modern and contemporary art; by presenting exhibitions and educational programs of unparalleled significance; by sustaining a library, archives, and conservation laboratory that are recognized as international centers of research; and by supporting scholarship and publications of preeminent intellectual merit. Does this now put the museum at odds with the ethos of its very foundation?