Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Have tax dollars ruined the Arizona Historical Society?

On May 16th, KAET 8s Horizon program presented a story entitled; Arizona Centennial: Arizona Military Museum. Their summary was as follows:

Designated as an official Arizona Centennial Legacy Project, the Arizona Military Museum chronicles the military history of Arizona. Museum Director Joe Abodeely shares some of that history as he describes what the museum has to offer.

The military museum is only 25 years old and has no state budget. The only assistance it gets is the use of the historic adobe building on the Arizona National guard military reservation. It is operated by unpaid volunteers whose energy and enthusiasm have made this a highly rated Arizona attraction. As an example, www.tripadvisor .com ranked it number 66 on its list of best 109 tourist attractions in Phoenix.

Like the Arizona Military Museum, the Arizona Mining and Mineral museum was only provided the use of a building. It was staffed with a combination of volunteers and employees paid with gift shop proceeds. It was ranked number 23 on trip advisors list of 109 best Phoenix attractions.

The military and mineral museums both became highly successful with minimal state support. By contrast, the Arizona Historical Society has not performed well even though it receives ample state support. Its $6 million budget includes a $1.6 million payroll and an additional $ 0.7 million in employee related expenses. Despite having many museums across the state, its staff of 40 to 50 state paid workers has not produced a top rated museum.

Has the generous support provided by Arizona tax payers made them soft and lazy?

Note: The 6/7/2010 and 4/26/2011 posts identify the many high ratings received by the mineral museum


  1. Maybe it's because the director and the Board of Directors don't raise money. The State budget would go farther if they did. On the other hand the State Legislators may just cut their budget by what they raised in private funding. The Legislators are that primitive, but we know that!
    The AHS Board has been hiding, get them out from the darkness underneath that rock.

  2. I just went to the Arizona Historical Society website. Nothing was mentioned about the Centennial Museum or the Ariz Experience Museum?? So how are they going to raise millions of dollars when they don't even tell anybody? Wierd!!
    Maybe they are hoping the whole ugly thing will just go away?

  3. The AHS had the Centennial Museum / Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum (in accordance with Arizona statutes) on their website until the April 30th Saturday night massacre. Then, it all vanished. Now, in blatant violation of the law, they are disassembling the mineral museum.