AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum has been through crisis after crisis, but despite what other sources claim, their spokeswoman said the museum isn’t going anywhere.
The Texas Standard and Texas Observer published reports last week saying the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum has seen steadily declining attendance and state funding, prompting them to ask if the museum can survive.
“We want to assure the public first, that we are not closing our doors,” said PPHM Marketing Director Stephanie Price. “Despite what other things might say, we are here to stay.”
Last year, the museum’s appropriation from the Texas Legislature was cut by 30 percent, and the museum director was told it could be cut by at least another 30 percent this year.
The museum legislature fund is under $250,000, which pays for the top six salaries at the museum, and losing more of that money is said to have become a concern.
Price said the community’s support is what the museum relies on the most.
“We’re a place that needs your support and your donations and philanthropic endeavors,” said Price. “We’re like any other non-profit. I think a lot of people think of non-profits as maybe medical charities, or those that help the homeless and things like that. While all of those are wonderful, we’re still a non-profit too, and I think people don’t look at the museum and see us as that.”
In order to keep budgets up, the PPHM will be hosting a black tie gala event on Saturday, April 13, which will serve as their big fundraiser once a year for the next five years.
The event will unveil a collection of Rococo antiques, owned by Lucille Nance Jones and her husband, who were breeders of Hereford cattle and collected French antiques while traveling.
“When she passed away, over one thousand pieces of her Rococo collection came to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. You don’t think of fancy French antiques at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, but it’s another representation of life here in the Panhandle Plains region.”
Lovelady encouraged the community to continue their support of the museum and to come experience the frequent changes the museum has had.
“We’re not going anywhere," said Lovelady. “We’ve been here for 98 years and we are already planning our 100th birthday.”