Friday, July 31, 2015

Budget Cheat Sheet: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Department: The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Budget Cheat Sheet: Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Department: The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Time and Location: Monday, April 12, 2:30-3 p.m., City Council Chambers (4th floor, City Hall)

What the institution does: The Art Museum offers city residents and visitors access to one of the world’s most impressive collections of visual arts and related programs. Each year, approximately one million people visit the institution, which includes the main building’s 200 galleries, the Perelman Building, the Rodin Museum and two colonial park houses.

2010 budget: The Art Museum received a subsidy of $2.3 million from the city’s general fund in fiscal year 2010.

What that pays for: Everything from expanding the Museum’s collections to renovating facilities. But the city’s funding is a drop in the bucket of the Museum’s current $50 million-plus operating budget, which has suffered recently because of a struggling endowment.

Was this cut from 2009? Yes. The Art Museum received $3 million from the city in fiscal year 2009, 23 percent more than it received this fiscal year.

What was the cut’s impact? It’s hard to separate the Art Museum’s city funding from the rest of its operating budget, but here’s what it did last year when its operating budget shrank. In February 2009, it eliminated 30 positions through a combination of layoffs and unfilled vacancies. Senior staff members also took 5-10 percent salary cuts. And in July 2009, the Museum raised all ticket prices by $2 and modified the pay-as-you-wish Sunday admission policy to include only the first Sunday of each month.

Proposed 2011 budget: $2.3 million from the general fund

It should be noted: The Museum has a $500 million expansion plan in the works, which includes creating space below ground.

It should also be noted: Museum officials often point out that the revenue the Museum generates for the city greatly outweighs the funding it receives from the city.

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Every year, city government spends slightly more than $4 billion. Where does all that money come from? More importantly, where does it go? Are we getting the most bang for our tax buck? “It's Our Money” is a joint project between Philadelphia Daily News and WHYY, funded by the William Penn Foundation, designed to answer these questions.

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