Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
The Jensen Arctic Museum, which has been exploring relocation since 2010, is using endowment funds to stay afloat after personnel funding from WOU expired.
September 04, 2012
MONMOUTH -- It looks like the Jensen Arctic Museum, despite a desire to relocate, will remain in Monmouth a bit longer.
A planned move to a 5,300-square-foot satellite location for artifact exhibition in Albany's downtown was halted after the museum's board of directors determined the move would have been too expensive.
"It was too large and the amount of construction to convert it to the space we need was a lot, almost $200,000," said Roben Jack, the museum's curator.
The board has been exploring relocation in and outside of Oregon for the last two years because of an end to the personnel funding the museum once received from Western Oregon University.
WOU owns the collection and the facility on Jackson Street it's housed in. The museum is using its endowment funds to stay afloat. Beginning in January, however, it must pay the university $15,000 annually to cover rent, utilities and security.
The museum received a $50,000 grant from the Central Albany Revitalization Area last fall to help with a move. Jensen leaders feel the bigger city would offer more visibility and patronage.
One plan had the museum moving this past March while continuing to use the Jackson Street site for administration and limited display, until an eventual full move.
Jack said the museum still has its grant and will keep looking for a more suitable locale in downtown Albany.
As for leaving Monmouth completely in the future, "that hasn't been decided," Jack said, noting the museum still hosts 4,000 visitors here and has been gifted land set for use near Gentle House off Monmouth Avenue.
David Stahlke, a Jensen board member, said the Friends of the Jensen Arctic Museum has now become a 501(c)3 to help in acquiring grants.
"The reality is we'll have to do more fundraising than we have had," Stahlke said.
On that front, Jack said she's been getting advice from Aldona Jonaitis, a consultant who helped the University of Alaska in Fairbanks raise almost $35 million for its Museum of the North.
"She's challenged me to raise $25,000," Jack said.
For more information about the Jensen Arctic Museum or how to contribute: 503-838-8468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.