Cutbacks coming at Bowers, Pacific Asia museums
More downbeat news from the arts-during-recession front:
The Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena and the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana are cutting their budgets --20% and 10%, respectively -- by laying off employees and canceling or delaying exhibitions. The Pacific Asia Museum also plans to hike its $7 admission fee -- it remains undecided whether by $1 or $2 -- and begin charging for lectures and workshops that previously were free.
The museums share an interest in Asian and Pacific Island culture (and both were raided in January as part of a federal investigation into alleged looting of ancient Ban Chiang artifacts that is ongoing, according to a Justice Department spokesman), although the Bowers is less specialized. Executive directors of both institutions said Friday that they are not caught in an immediate fiscal emergency but, foreseeing more bad economic weather ahead, are trying to trim their sails in hopes of keeping their budgets afloat.