Thursday, December 16, 2010

Will there be second hand displays in the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum?

The 5C Arizona Centennial Museum was introduced to loyal supporters of Governor Brewer (invitation only events) last February. Her grand plan for this centerpiece of the centennial celebration was to be something really remarkable with $9 million dollars of displays prepared by a renowned east coast design firm. The director of the Arizona Historical Society told the board that the museum “may end up being the State’s main Signature Centennial project”.

The Governor proudly announced this was her birthday present to the state of Arizona and that it would be completely financed by private money. The AHS director said plans for the museum theme and for funding had been prepared with “the Governor’s Office, the Office of Tourism, and five representatives from private industry”.

What a difference 11 months can make.
Today, little is heard about Arizona’s grand birthday gift. As in the early planning stage, participants appear to be scurrying about in the dark. Unless, of course, they are doing absolutely nothing.

No announcement about grants or donations has been made. According to rumors, four of the five industries have decided that the 5C museum was a really uninspired idea and have bailed out. Apparently the high dollar, high profile east coast designer is gone as well. Also, according to rumor, the AHS has recruited a Tucson designer to put together some sort of a plan to solicit a grant from one possible remaining supporter (Freeport McMoran).

Now, it appears the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum, the supposed main Signature Centennial project, may be furnished with second hand displays.
From main signature centennial project to second hand shop. Quite a transformation.

According to Cindy Barks, the “state has contracted with Entertainment Solutions, a firm that has coordinated large events “such as the Phoenix area Fiesta Bowl block party”. The Arizona Centennial Best Fest will held sequentially in Prescott, Phoenix, and Tucson. A fundraising effort is reportedly underway.

According to slide 11 of Entertainment Solutions, Inc. presentation to the Prescott city council, the “event elements” will include “educational pavilions”. Those will feature “Historical, Arizona Industry, Cultural, Aerospace Aviation & Military, Sports, Natural Resources, and Arizona Future”. A footnote on that slide states:
Displays to be constructed for use at all 3 Best Fest Celebrations and for potential use at Arizona Centennial, Arizona State Fair, etc.
So, reality is arriving. The 5C Arizona Centennial Museum (main Signature Centennial project) may be a second hand shop and warehouse for State Fair displays.

Well actually, a fourth hand shop. The displays will be used in three centennial events in three different cities before being placed in the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum. That should bring in the crowds.
That is hardly a worthy replacement for the existing and top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum, which is to be displaced by the 5C second (fourth?) hand shop.

For this mess, the hired help (elected leaders) simply had to push through House Bill 2251 last March. 5C had no plan and no budget, but it was written into law.
Fore this mess, the Governor added 2.2 or 3.0 million dollars (depending on how you count it) to the Arizona Historical Society budget.

Arizona deserves better.

Barks, Cindy, The big party’s comin’, The Daily Courier, Prescott AZ, Dec 5th 2010
Barks, Cindy, Prescott will host centennial kick off in September, The Daily Courier, Prescott AZ, Dec 5th 2010
Arizona Centennial Best Fest
Event Creative
Prescott, AZ
September 16 – 18, 2011
Conceptual VI: Dec 6th, 2010
Entertainment Solutions, Inc.
Online PDF file

Excerpts from selected AHS Meeting Minutes
(italics added)
Nov 14, 2009
Woosley asked the Board for their patience and trust on a matter that she cannot yet disclose to them. She commented that it was awkward for her because her approach has always been complete openness with them. She has been in discussions at high levels about an AHS directed Centennial project. It is extremely delicate with many moving parts and may end up being the State’s main Signature Centennial project. Woosley said she was directed not to speak about the project until later. This means that she needs the all of the board’s patience because she knows the chapter boards want to embark on planning activities and projects for 2010. Woosley requested that chapter boards hold off and she would appreciate no new projects be identified until further word is received. She commented that if the Centennial project comes to pass, the staff, boards, and volunteers, would all need to be involved. She hopes to have something more to report in January.

January 29, 2010
Woosley said this legislative session looked at budget cuts that ranged from 7.5% to 15%. She was happy to report that AHS was one of just a few agencies that have not been cut at all. If the special centennial project goes forward, there is a $560,000 allocation that would come with it. In November, Woosley said she would announce a project she had been working on with the Governor’s Office, the Office of Tourism, and five representatives from private industry. Funding to support the project would funnel through the Centennial Foundation. The announcement will be made on February 12 by the Governor and Woosley has been asked to not discuss the project publicly before the Governor’s announcement. Woosley said the project creates a good foundation for AHS to be a key agency in state government.

March 26, 2010
Woosley reminded the board that the governor contacted AHS last year about taking a leadership role in the development of an Arizona Centennial Museum. The themes of the museum would celebrate the foundation of Arizona Statehood and the development of Arizona and its industries, loosely tied to the Five C’s. There have been numerous meetings with the governor’s office and representatives from the industries. There was a sheret to consider what the content of the museum would look like. The architect is Westlake Reed Leskosky and the exhibit designer is Gallagher and Associates. The museum would be housed in the Mining and Mineral Museum in Phoenix. Although there is much excitement about this museum, Woosley noted the Mining and Mineral Museum supporters are unhappy and the project comes with difficulty. Woosley said legislation needs to be passed for the Mining and Mineral Museum to become part of AHS. She stated she has no position at this time and that although legislation has not passed the Governor’s office, some legislators, and many of the industries are moving forward as if the museum was happening. Woosley said the funding would come from privately raised dollars and would require the support of the industries. There was discussion. She noted the museum would be for the State of Arizona, not just Phoenix, and the stakeholders are sensitive to this. The museum would not be folded into an existing AHS division. Woosley said the legislation includes rent on the building and staffing with revenue streams going to AHS. Lacy said if the Governor wants AHS to do this, the Board should move it forward as quickly as possible when the legislation is passed. Barrios said the museum would offer AHS a high profile near the Capitol but he would be cautious about future funding. There was discussion.

1 comment:

  1. Just think what these "exhibits" will look like after being in three outdoor events and transported all over the state.
    If the AHS has "recruited" a "designer" then there should be a contract? Was this contract a competive bid? Perhaps the name should be a fund raiser? What is ths person to do exactly. ...Lets hope the Freeport-McMoran firm isnt that dumb to pour their money down the drain like this!