Saginaw Art Museum struggles to stay open - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Saginaw Art Museum struggles to stay open

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(08/24/12) - A local museum that has been around for years is having a tough time getting the funding to stay open.

The Saginaw Art Museum is only opened for Macy's Free Fridays.

The museum on Michigan Street has been there since 1948. Now, it's struggling to keep its doors opened because of lack of funding - something it depends on.

Nearly 10 years ago, Saginaw Art Museum expanded its building. Those expansions costs more than $7 million.

One man we talked to, who didn't want to say his name, believes that was a bad idea. "It was stupid to put that huge addition on because it costs so much money to heat that huge addition and in the summer, air condition. People in Saginaw need to wake up and start thinking. What is it going to cost down the road?"

Deputy director Ryan Kaltenbach says because of the economy, energy bills are hard to pay. The mortgage is nearly $450,000.

Board of Trustees members are considering finding a more affordable location. They say closing is not an option.

"The collection is very important to us. We want to keep it in the Saginaw community. A lot of donors put a lot of heart and sweat into this museum over the years, so we want to keep that collection as part of our community," Kaltenbach said.

Joni Hopkins spent time there as a child. She wants her children to have the same experience.

"A lot of people should be able to experience things like this. I mean, be able to see like paintings and different hands on things. Kids learn from that type of thing. They're going to be adults one day and you want to be able to carry that tradition too with them," Hopkins said.

 Board of Trustees members are reaching out to business leaders in the community for some funding.

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