Southwest Museum to open on May 19
Southwest Museum advocates are rallying the community to participate and attend the re-opening of exhibit space at the famous Southwest Museum. Although the exhibit space will be limited to the upper and lower lobby areas of Los Angeles’s first Museum, observers believe that a good turnout will only help the cause of getting the Autry to reopen the building to its historic Museum use.
Long-time museum advocate Ann Walnum invites everyone to help by showing up to rally at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday May 19th, wearing their “Save the Southwest Museum” T-shirts.
Although the re-opening was touted in recent meetings, no publicity, no press releases and no notice on the expansive Autry website have been put out advertising this event.
1) After a year, the Huizar/Reyes council motion to set up a city Working Group/Task Force made it out of the Arts/Parks Committee on Tuesday. Thanks to the leadership of Councilmember Reyes and the strong support of Chair Richard Alarcon, there was some amended motion language introduced and adopted. Next step is back to the City Council for formal approval and that could happen at any time. When we hear the date this gets on the agenda, we will let you know.
WE WILL NEED YOUR PRESENCE AT COUNCIL. We know that Autry’s strategy has been to just let it get through committtee and will attempt to modify the motion when it gets to Council and bring in Autry supporters then. So, please try attend and let’s all plan to support getting this motion finally adopted. As CM Reyes stated “It’s now time to reassess and find good will to develop a partnership along with the community.” Or CM Alarcon’s thoughts: “Museums are not much without a community supporting them. You (Autry) have to get past this.” Please feel free to send a note/email or quick call with your appreciation to these Councilmembers.
2) This Saturday the Southwest Museum’s Re-opening of the hallway in the lower lobby will be the first time the public has had an opportunity to visit the museum in many many years. Come and Visit! Wear your Friends of the SWM Coalition t-shirt, stop in for a bit anytime between 10am – 4 pm and show that there is overwhelming interest in having the ENTIRE museum re-open, sooner rather than never.
If you can join us, please meet us at 10 am, either at the parking lot or tunnel entrance and let’s converge together as a united group. We will take the opportunity at about 10:30 to take a group picture somewhere to capture this historic event. We know this Saturday is the Peace in the Northeast event, the Lummis Day fundraiser, preservation conference and so many other activities competing for your time. But, try to visit when you can within the six hours it will be open, even if you’ve only got 15 minutes!
Right now, it sounds like Autry will have the new hallway exhibits open each Saturday from 10-4. But, it could be a short-lived opportunity as we’ve learned that there is a fiscal reason driving this modest re-opening. Seems like the public money from the earthquake funds of FEMA can’t be reimbursed if the museum is not “open.” We’re doing further investigation … more updates soon. Guess this starts to explain why Autry has not promoted this re-opening in their published calendar, weekly events email and has even downplayed what should be a significant event by their PR staff: “We don’t want to make a big deal out of it, we don’t want to raise expectations,” she said. “We’re just making the lobby accessible so people can walk into the building and see some highlights of collection.”
3) Summer Soda Tasting 2 — July 22nd from 5-8 pm. Advance tickets are now available for purchase at Galcos or online: http://www.friendsofthesouthwestmuseum.com/soda2.html