Friday, February 4, 2011

Are cockroaches building the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum?

As explained in prior posts, the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum (that displaces the mineral museum) has been cloaked in near total secrecy. Planning of sorts had been underway for about a year and a half, but publicity has consisted of brief and vague articles in the Arizona Republic and one in the Arizona Business Gazette.  After the Governor’s presentation to a by invitation only group about a year ago, the Governor’s office did post a press release on their website. Curiously, the story did not appear in the media.  Was it a dull and uninteresting release, or did the release not actually get to the media?

If anything, the secrecy is deepening.  A short paragraph about the centennial museum was on the Arizona Centennial Commissions website. Now, that is gone.  That’s very strange for a “number one signature project”. People who call the Arizona Centennial Commission for information about the centennial museum are told the Governor will not allow them to talk about it.  Absolutely nothing is happening or said where it can be seen or heard.

Since nothing is happening in sunlight, either nothing is happening or the centennial museum is being built by cockroaches working in total darkness.  However, that is not stopping taxpayer dollars from being diverted to the centennial museum. Close watch of the house and senate (even in daylight) is revealing that. As one example, a senate committee voting on a bill to partially fund the centennial museum with special license plate fees was recently assured that plans are complete and pledges have been received for a significant portion of the required funds.

Do the centennial museum promoters understand the difference between concept sketches (which accompanied the press release) and plans? If there really are plans, why cannot the people of Arizona see the plans? Why do mineral museum volunteers who worked for decades building displays have to wait month after month with no word of what will happen to those displays?

Just exactly how does a secret fund drive take place?  Have the Governor’s “fund raisers” been shaking down Arizona business in the shadows?  Do the pledges gathered thus far represent protection money?

One of the first ground rules for Arizona Centennial Commission sanctioned projects (according to their website) is that they have community “buy in”.

Why is the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum (their own “signature project”) such and exception?

Note: The Governor's press release promised that "no public funds" would be used for the centennial museum.


  1. It seems as though your position is one against both the AHS and the museum. Regardless of the problems with AHS, the work it does is important, and focusing on the AHS only drives away many of those that would otherwise support your position against the museum.

  2. I understand you concern. This blog did begin solely as a defense of the mineral museum. However, as information about the AHS was uncovered, a lot of questions arose. For example, is it using tax dollars responsibly? Is it (or some faction of it) even interested in the important work it should be doing? Such issues will be discussed further in future posts.

  3. The Centennial "Museum" and the AHS are one in the same now. Same budget, same staff. Looks like they have even moved staff from Tucson to operate the Mineral Museum (soon to be Centennial Museum).
    Woosley is running both facilities (into the ground).

  4. Actually, the mineral museum is still being operated and maintained by the same volunteers and self supported staff (gift shop and lapidary shop)that operated it for decades. That will probably end soon, since the AHS is not allowing them to schedule tours for the next school year. Apparently, Arizona students will be deprived of a lifetime learning experience.

  5. I will say that even though a historical society is important to every state...AHS doesn't cut it.
    They pay a full time position for handling "membership" yet have the worst membership numbers in their history. This "job" couldn't be done by a volunteer? Part-time employee? No...instead give an incompetant person a state position to do nothing.
    The AHS library will, asap, begin charging patrons to use the library. This ought to go over well with what will become former users.
    The gift shop does not have online shopping. Good business plan, sell items in a building where few people go. At least online there might be some traffic.
    There are no plans for the 5c museum. Think they are being dishonest and secretive? Well, they are...but the main reason the plans are not public is because these hacks do not have one.

  6. Volunteers and gift shop staff (in the minds of the AHS Adminstration) mean nothing. Sorry to tell you this but Woosley and Ponder would care less about them.

  7. Perhaps they are not aware that they have no plans. They may not understand the difference between plans and an architects or designers concept sketches.

    At the hearing on the centennial museum bill last March, they told the senate they had bids and they did not. They had only an incomplete rough order of magnitude estimate written on a half sheet of paper.

  8. Your kidding, they are going to charge patrons to come in and research? Some agengies charge for doing research if the researcher is not in town.That is understandable. But to charge just to use the library!!!
    I wonder what the membership really is for the AHS. If they will not tell you what the attendance is for their facilities I bet they will love telling you what the membership is!!!I bet its less than 2,000 for a state of over six million.

  9. How can you have a successful gift shop if nobody walks into the museum. How much money can you make if less than 8,000 admission paying visitors actually walk into the museum. Ask how much other museums make on their gift shops. A lot.

  10. And the AHS closed their gift shop in the multi million dollar Papago Park Museum. Guess not enough people walked into the place to even bother having one.

  11. That is why they are completely insane for not having online shopping. I know their website gets much more traffic than the actual buildings.
    You are correct. Membership is less than 2000.
    The fee for library use is a way to strong arm people into memberships.

  12. How much stuff can their gift shop sell that would warrant "online shopping"? Books, plates, Indian jewelry, coffee mugs and maybe some T-Shirts. The whole idea of a gift shop is to pick up the patrons on the way out of the museum to get some more money from them, as well as educate them and promote the museum. If they dont even come in in the first place what does it matter.

  13. To the above post. Many museums sell their publications worldwide online.
    Some museums have limited runs of items, reproductions, etc. so online shopping is the best way to get those items.

  14. To your post:
    I went to the AHS website. They list the books and then you have to "mail" in your book order. The books are listed but thats all. Just titles.
    The gift shop just has an email listing of what they sell. No pictures, no lists.
    So your point is...?