MUSKOGEE – The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame announced today that it is suspending its museum operations and cutting staff due to a shortage of funds.
The museum’s supporters plan to craft a sustainability plan that includes ways of increasing revenue. They hope to continue the hall’s high-profile annual induction ceremony and concert with volunteer’s staffing the fall event.
Unfortunately, the museum is slashing its hours after the completion but before the formal opening of its state-of-the-art children’s exhibit, according to today’s announcement.
People who want to support the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame can send donations here:
Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 3221
Muskogee, Okla. 74402.
Here is the full announcement:
The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame announced Monday it will cut paid staff, limit its hours of operation and immediately craft a sustainability plan that includes revenue enhancement steps for the future.
“We have enjoyed national recognition, a growth in Museum visits and an expansion of music programs, yet these initiatives have never raised enough revenue to cover costs,” said Jim Blair, President, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. For instance, the annual Concert and Induction Ceremony is well attended and widely recognized, yet it rarely covers expenses for that night’s festivities.
“We cannot continue to rely solely on the same private and corporate funders who also are facing similar challenges in a down economy,” said Blair.
Over the years, since its creation, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame has raised more than $700,000 in private, corporation and foundation dollars. Only a small portion of funding for the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame has come from state dollars.
“Looking ahead, we find ourselves unable to continue to raise a level of funding to sustain operation and, now, we must suspend operations while we build a viable plan,” Blair added.
“To sustain full-time operations, we need the renewed help of our existing community partners, along with a plan to develop a new and growing list of financial supporters who can make a commitment for a long-term source of operating revenue,” Blair said.
One critical project has been completed, but not yet formally opened. This is the new children’s experiential, state-of-the-art music exhibit at the museum, dubbed Jeremiah’s Music Room. The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will explore plans for opening the facility and celebrating music with children, provided adequate operational funding can be secured
“Now, more than ever, we ask Oklahomans to step up and join in supporting our mission so that the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame can remain a lasting base for economic development for Oklahoma,” he added.
The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame hopes to continue its annual induction ceremonies, which will be staffed with volunteers. These events are usually held in the fall.
“One of the most difficult things about this financial situation is that we truly have a dedicated and talented staff, who has worked diligently over the years to develop our programming and community outreach. Our Board will work through this transition with sensitivity and respect for their needs,” Blair said.
“Today, we are encouraging Oklahomans who love music to join with us as we seek new funding possibilities,” Blair said. Donations can be sent to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 3221, Muskogee, Okla. 74402.
Blair said the Sustainability Plan must include:
- Limited hours of operation for the Frisco Depot, which is home to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame & Museum, and serves as an event venue for community meetings and celebrations. This means that already-scheduled events, such as weddings, music performances or community meetings, will proceed. Also, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame will take bookings for future events for the rental space only for Fridays or Saturdays. To schedule an event, you may call 918-687-0800.
- A shut down of all hours of operation for the Museum of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame
- A 50 percent cut in staff positions, starting immediately.
- The placement of remaining staff on non-paid status until further notice.
- Immediate steps to create an Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame Board sustainability plan that includes new and expanded sources of revenue for the future.