Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sunlight finally reaches the Arizona Centennial Museum

Thus far, the must remarkable thing about the Arizona Centennial Museum has been secrecy. Details of its planning are still unclear, but it now appears that it began about a year ago. The participants were apparently the Governor, her Natural Resource Policy Director, the Director of the Arizona Historical Society, and a lobbyist. Exactly what or who motivated this planning is still unknown.

On June 7, 2009, the director of the historical society sent a letter to the Governor protesting budget cuts. State funding was to be phased out over a period of 5 years with annual cuts of approximately $800,000. However, as centennial museum plans progressed, the historical society received a huge budget increase instead. The details of whatever deal took place remain secret.

On Feb 12, 2010 the Governor appeared in the mineral museum and presented preliminary plans for the centennial museum to only a small invited group. There was no public announcement. An attorney from the State Attorney Generals office was brought to the mineral museum to place existing mineral museum staff under a gag order. The Governors office did prepare a press release, but it was mysteriously not published in Phoenix papers.

In following weeks the Arizona Republic did print a very brief statement on the editorial page. It was contained within a more general article about the centennial, and attracted little attention. A few dissenting letters were published in letters to the editor, but the centennial museum remained mostly under the radar.

That changed in August 2010 when the Arizona Capital Times and the Arizona Republic each featured and article about the Arizona Centennial Museum. The articles were thoughtful, and discussed both the anticipated benefits of the new Arizona Centennial Museum and the potential loss of the existing Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum (it presently occupies the same building).

In, September 2010, Arizona Public Media posted an article about the mineral museum which includes a video interview with the curator and a partial tour of the museum.

Hopefully, these articles will initiate a much needed public discussion about what Arizona may gain and what Arizona may lose as a result of the Governors centennial museum plan.


Museum is now history

Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum handed over to Historical Society


Arizona Capitol Times

August 2, 2010-08

Pages 15 and 16

(available online only by subscription)

New theme for historic site

Mining, mineral museum to undergo renovation to celebrate Arizona’s statehood

Kevin Kiley

The Arizona Republic

August 11, 2010-08-16

Pages B1 and B2


click on "Arizona Republic"

click on "Valley and State"

search for "museum"

Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum to change focus

Mark Duggan

Arizona Public Media


Sep 10,2010

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