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Letters to the Editor

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From: Woody Duncan (woodyduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Mar 04 2005 - 11:18:52 PST


I believe strongly in the power of writing letters to the
editor. If you choose a timely topic and write a good letter
to the point, there is a good chance it will be published.
I sent the following (via e-mail) to the Albuquerque
Journal this morning concerning a front page article
in todays paper.

Spanish Art Show Scrapped

An exhibit of Spanish masters planned for the Albuquerque Museum
Had itís funding removed because the city council wanted a
Native-American exhibit instead. My first thought is, they should get
their own museum. But wait, it is theirs and itís ours as well. The
museum belongs to the city. I brag to my friends back in Kansas that my
adopted community is forward looking enough to fund an art museum for
the city. Of course there are drawbacks. Like dictating what goes on
display. Itís called micromanagement. Iím a retired art teacher in my
first year of Docent training at the museum. Iím proud of the fantastic
facility and itís very professional and friendly staff. Personally I too
would like to see a major exhibition of Native-American art. But it
takes years of planning to pull a really good show off. Pulling the rug
(funding) out at the last minute is not the way to operate. Being a
public institution, the city museum should take into account input from
all segments of the community, city council included. But we hire
professionals to manage the museum. At some point we must trust their
judgment and allow them to do the job they are trained for. A city owned
museum will always have more pressures than a private institution.
Perhaps the solution is to develop guidelines for setting budgets and
making major decisions in the future. Albuquerque should not embarrass
itself again by having to cancel commitments like ours to the Del Prado
  in Spain. Another solution would be for the museum to build up a
sizable endowment to fund major exhibits from. This would somewhat
insulate the museum from community and political pressures.

                Woody, Retired in Albuquerque

Considering writing your own letters on topics you believe
are important.

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