Cash-Strapped Pérez Art Museum Seeks $2.5 Million County Boost

The Pérez Art Museum Miami.
Courtesy: Pérez Art Museum Miami.

The Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has nearly tripled its annual operating costs since opening its new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building in December 2013, from $5 million to $14 million, but private donations have not been so forthcoming, and now the institution is turning to Miami-Dade County for a $2.5 million funding boost, the Miami Herald reports.

The PAMM currently receives $2.5 million annually from the county, and is slated to see that number rise to $4 million in the 2015 county budget that mayor Carlos Gimenez will unveil on July 8. But the institution is hoping for another $1 million through the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, a neighborhood improvement district in whose boundaries the museum sits.

“I consider that [the museum] to be an asset for the county,” Gimenez told the Herald. “We’ve known for a long time they were going to need to grow their operating subsidies. They’re open, and that’s why they need a little bit more.”

Unfortunately, that “little bit more”—whether it’s $1.5 million or $2.5 million—may come at the expense of other Miami arts organizations and local assets. According to the Herald, the same budget slated to boost the PAMM’s funding will also cut county support to other non-profits by 10 percent. The new county budget will also force the local public libraries to cut 90 full-time staff positions.

“The support from the county really helps us to fund the programs we have found to be in great demand right now,” Leann Standish, the PAMM’s deputy director of external affairs, told the Herald. “We have free admission for all students. We have two free-admission days,” she said. “It’s those free programs that we’ve found to be very successful.”

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