BUFFALO, NY.- The Albright-Knox Art Gallery
today announced it is embarking on an aggressive three-year operating plan designed to actively sustain its artistic mission and current staffing levels while successfully addressing financial challenges resulting from the recent economic recession, which has had an impact on the museum.
In a proactive step, the Gallerys Board of Directors earlier this week approved the operating plan, which becomes effective with the Gallerys new fiscal year beginning July 1. It was announced by Gallery Director Louis Grachos and Board President Charles W. Banta.
The plan focuses on both cost-cutting and revenue-generating measures that ensure the Gallery maintains a standard of programmatic excellence that fulfills its compelling mission to acquire, exhibit, and preserve modern and contemporary art.
Because of the Gallerys endowment that is restricted for the purchase of works of art, the museum has been able to continue to build its outstanding Permanent Collection despite the current economic climate. The strength of the Collection will ensure that a reduction in operating expenses will not diminish the aesthetic and artistic experience of visitors to the Gallery, said Board President Charles W. Banta.
As an immediate, initial action of the operating plan, the Gallery will close for an additional day per week. The Gallery will now close on Wednesdays and be open for four days per week-Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Wednesday close will become effective on July 15. It is hoped that this will be a temporary measure and that public hours can be restored to current levels within the next few years, or when new sources of funding are secured. School tours for the coming year offered through the Artscool program, and tours for individuals with special needs offered through the Matter at Hand program will not be affected by this change.
In operating during these difficult economic times, the Gallerys leadership and staff continue to explore creative approaches that balance the operating budget and preserve the unique cultural vitality of the Albright-Knox as well as the staffing levels needed to achieve both objectives, said Gallery Director Louis Grachos.
Our three-year operating plan requires reevaluation and rethinking of much of our programming as it relates to our core mission, Grachos said. Visitors should expect exciting new exhibitions drawn from our Permanent Collection that engage audiences and advance scholarship, but are less expensive for the Gallery to present.
The operating plan also includes an aggressive program to increase revenues through the growth of such key programs as At worK, which provides business-skills training to local companies using the Gallerys Permanent Collection. The Gallery will also develop exhibitions that can be toured, and implement other strategies that seek to increase both contributed and earned income.