I’d love to hear more from folks about what you think the Taubman can do to achieve the goals it’s set. The museum has made progress, but it’s still an uphill climb. — MikeA
Three years after its grand opening, Roanoke’s Taubman Museum of Art still doesn’t earn enough in revenue to cover its operating expenses.
While the museum has narrowed the hole in its budget from a shortfall of $3.3 million in its first year to an estimate of about $400,000 in this fiscal year, it’s thanks to the generosity of 10 benefactors that it’s not in the red.
The donors floated loans prior to the Taubman’s opening that were used to pay off the museum’s construction debt and allow the museum to devote all its funds to operations. Yet despite layoffs, cutbacks and membership drives to increase revenue, those donors won’t be getting their money back.
The museum has been using incoming donations originally earmarked for paying back those donor loans to patch its annual revenue hole. The individuals and foundations who helped the Taubman pay off the building have agreed to the arrangement, Executive Director David Mickenberg said. Yet he knows it’s not a viable long-term solution.
The scheduled pledges last only through 2017. “These funds are finite and will need to be raised by the museum from new and expanded future support,” Mickenberg said.