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Posts tagged: mac

Legislative town halls at the MAC today

The Museum of Arts and Culture will be a busy place this weekend for Spokane residents who want to ask their legislators what’s happening in Olympia.

As the 2014 session nears the two-thirds mark, legislators from the 3rd and 6th Districts have town hall meetings Saturday at the MAC, 2316 W. First Ave.

Democratic Sen. Andy Billig and Rep. Marcus Riccelli will have a meeting there from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Their district includes downtown, Browne’s Addition, the lower South Hill and neighborhoods as far north as Hillyard.

Republican Sen. Mike Baumgartner, Reps. Kevin Parker and Jeff Holy will be in the same location from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Their district includes parts of northwest and south Spokane, the West Plains, Cheney and Airway Heights

Brown: Lege might keep museums open

OLYMPIA — The Legislature may find a way to keep the Museum of Arts and Culture and the state museum in Tacoma open, despite Gov. Chris Gregoire's proposal to close them because of budget problems.

Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown said today a coalition of Spokane and Tacoma legislators is working on a strategy to reduce state support over time,  but provide a “bridge” of state money while the museums look for financial support elsewhere.

For the MAC, Brown said, a possible source of funding would be the region's tribes because the museum has an extensive collection of Native American artifacts.

The Washington State Historical Society operates the museum in Tacoma and the separate  Eastern Washington State Historical Society operates the MAC. In 2008, Gregoire tried unsuccessfully to merge the two societies; the proposal wasn't introduced in the Senate.

Brown said Thursday she didn't see a merger as part of conditions for the Legislature keeping money in the budget.

The two societies serve different areas and seem to work better as separate entities, she said.

Museum directors: Don’t put us in mothballs

OLYMPIA – The proposed state budget would “mothball” the Museum of Arts and Culture in Spokane and another facility in Tacoma, shutting out the public and possibly running afoul of federal law on Native American artifacts, a legislative panel was told Thursday.

Directors of the Northwest MAC and the State History Museum in Tacoma said Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget plan for 2011-13 cuts them back so severely that they cease most operations other than warehousing their collections.

“We wouldn’t continue to exist,” said David Nicandri, director of the Washington State Historical Society which operates the 16-year-old Tacoma museum.

The MAC wouldn’t have a large enough staff to open its exhibits or its archives to the public, director Ron Rector said. That would close off one of Spokane’s top three tourist attraction, Eastern Washington’s main art museum and the largest collection of Columbia Plateau Indian artifacts outside of the Smithsonian Institution, he said.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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