The online tally of membership shows that to-date, the museum has 240 members, and is working hard to reach 320 by December.
“With a membership, you can be a part of bringing art to the community,” said museum director Paula Lisowsky. “We give a 10 percent discount in the museum gift shop for members. We also have postcards for many upcoming exhibits, a quarterly newsletter and discount some of our classes. It is a pretty good benefit, for example, a stained glass class that would cost $125 might be $100.”
Lisowsky said that funds collected from memberships go directly to the museum’s annual operating budget. “This is our operating dollars, pure and simple. Rotary gives us a fantastic grant, but that money is specifically for programs for children and seniors.”
Lisowsky said that state grants fall short of meeting the museum’s needs. “We are eligible to apply for a maximum of 10 percent of our budget, but we never get it. We need around $50,000 annually, and last year got $1,200 from the state. That is a drop in the bucket.”
Though the museum opened with generous assistance from the Masons, Lisowsky said that they have no endowment from their family. “They were very generous with a onetime gift, but it is an ongoing chore to raise money. We receive a lot of in-kind donations from service people and local businesses, and that helps.”
Several levels of membership exist at the museum. An individual membership costs $35, a family level for $60, and a special benefit is available for $100. At that price, members earn a card allowing them to participate in the North American Reciprocal Program, which allows members to visit select other institutions and enjoy the same benefits as the members there would. Student memberships are also available for $15. Corporate sponsorships are also available for business entities.
The museum also raises money for its building fund by selling post office boxes in the lobby. The boxes were used when the building was actually the Cadiz Post Office. None of that money is earmarked for operational expenses. The boxes sell for $500, $1,000 and $1,500. With a $1,500 box, a purchaser is given a $100 membership.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.