White River State Park and Tourist Attractions and Arts & Entertainment, etc. and Attractions and Indiana State Museum and Tourism & Hospitality

State Museum to close on most Mondays

December 3, 2009

The Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis will close its galleries and public spaces on most Mondays beginning in January.

Museum interim director Kathleen McLary said the change will bring the museum into alignment with most other museums and cultural institutions, and provide a more efficient time for cleaning and gallery adjustments.

The exceptions to the change are Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 18, the NCAA Final Four men's basketball championship game day on April 5 next year, Labor Day on Sept. 6, and all Mondays from Thanksgiving through the end of the year.

Administrative staff will continue to work on Mondays.

The museum and 12 historic sites around Indiana that are run by the Department of Natural Resources have been facing tight budgets. State funding for the museum, $5.96 million in the fiscal year that ends June 30, has fallen 21.5 percent since 2007. The marketing budget, meanwhile, is down 50 percent, to $205,000, over the same period.

Former Museum CEO  Barry Dressel, who resigned in October, told IBJ that he expected museum attendance to drop 20 percent this fiscal year due to reduced marketing. That’s after sliding 13 percent last year, from 163,706 in fiscal year 2008 to 142,647.

The museum opened in its current home in 2002 with blockbuster attendance of 260,000.

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