Musem of Latin American Art does it right in Long Beach

A local arts museum recently completed a massive new renovation and expansion. Are we talking about the Bowers Museum? No – actually the subject of this post is the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA), in Long Beach.

Here is what the O.C. Register had to say about the new and improved MOLAA, “

“The 11-year-old museum has totally renovated its facilities, with new galleries, a 15,000-square-foot sculpture garden and a new facade designed by Mexican-American architect Manuel Rosen.

The newly refurbished museum features two expansive, 40-foot-tall rectangular arches that meet at one point, reflecting the “Bridge to the Americas” theme. The light-brown/adobe exterior is complemented by accents of blue and red, a mini-waterfall, desert landscaping and a reflection pool.”

So how do you think all of that renovation was paid for? The Long Beach Gazette reported that,”most of the funding came from private sources, including Lexus.”

Isn’t that interesting? How come the Bowers Museum can’t get by without public handouts?

While the Bowers makes do by importing mummies and Chinese artifacts, MOLAA is “the only museum in the western United States that exclusively features contemporary Latin American art.” Wow – which one do you think is more relevant to the majority of the people – and taxpayers – of Santa Ana?

Here’s the rub. The Bowers recently raised its rates to an astonishing $17 per adult during the week, and $19 on weekends. They also charge $12/14 for students, and $60 for groups of ten students, with one free adult admission for every ten students. Children under 6 are free – as are Santa Ana residents on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

So what does MOLAA charge? How about $7.50 per adult. Only $5 for students with ID. Children under 12 are free. And everyone is free on Fridays. That’s right – everyone.

Wow. The Bowers is really ripping us off.

But wait, there’s more. Families are offered free admission to MOLAA every fourth Sunday. Target also sponsors free admission on the second Sunday of each month.

Did I mention that the Bowers is ripping us off? What a stunning contrast.

It is time to hold the Bowers board and the City of Santa Ana accountable. They have raked Santa Ana taxpayers over the coals for far too long.

MOLAA has shown us that you can have a museum that is culturally relevant to the people of Santa Ana – and it can be funded by mostly private sources. It is time to end the Bowers ripoff. It is time to let them fend for themselves and take Santa Ana taxpayers off the hook.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.