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
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
Arizona Public Media