Thursday, January 27, 2011
Embattled Monterey History and Art Museum Executive Director Pam Crowe-Weisberg stepped down last week, says Tom Hood, a local architect and newly elected chair of the Monterey History and Art Association board of directors, which runs the museum.
“We’re covering the bases, doing multiple tasks,” Hood says. He declined to comment on the reasons for Crowe-Weisberg’s resignation, saying it’s a personnel matter.
Crowe-Weisberg leaves the museum before her March 31 contract expiration, and the planned April 15 completion of a major museum revamp, which Crowe-Weisberg engineered when she took the reins last fall.
The museum has been plagued by financial troubles and rapid-fire turnover on its board of directors. For years it borrowed from its endowment to fund day-to-day operations.
It is funding the remodel in part with proceeds from the sale of the MHAA’s Perry-Downer house. The museum raised nearly $100,000 in grant funding in 2010 and more grants are in the works.
The museum owes the Monterey City Council, which leases the museum land to the MHAA for $1 a year, detailed financial reports, but last month, only provided un-audited statements, according to City Councilwoman Nancy Selfridge.
Local attorney Michael Stamp, who’s kept an eye on the issue, says he doubts MHAA can keep the museum’s doors open, given its shaky finances and the state of the economy.
But, Hood insists the organization has operating funds to last until year’s end, and big plans to draw additional visitors and funders.
“The curtain goes up this spring, but then the work really starts,” Hood says.