Friday, December 30, 2011
Arizona’s Botched Centennial Celebration
The Arizona Best Fest events were to be the major centennial celebrations. They were to be held in Prescott in September, Tucson in November, and Phoenix in February. The Prescott event was held as scheduled, but the Tucson one was not.
The Arizona Centennial Commission & Foundation spent their funds designing the Arizona Historical Society’s $15 million 5C Arizona Centennial Museum instead. Like their $80 million History Museum at Rio Nuevo in Tucson, it will never be built because the AHS did not raise the funds for construction.
This is strike three for the AHS. They spend millions designing things they cannot build. Their resume of failure now includes the Marley Center Museum in Tempe, the History Museum at Rio Nuevo in Tucson, and the 5C Arizona Centennial Museum in Phoenix. The Marley was unique because it was actually built (but shouldn’t have been). The state provided funds for the building, but the AHS then failed to raise the funds for the displays. The state then raised more money for the displays, but the AHS then failed to maintain them. The interactive displays in the Marley are now a pile of junk.
Why did the Arizona Centennial Commission fund another AHS failure rather than the Centennial Best Fest celebrations?
Weary of waiting for the state, Tucsonans plan centennial bash
Veronica M. Cruz, Arizona Daily Star
Friday, December 30, 2011 12:00 am