Bye-Bye, Black History Museum?


Money problems have forced the Idaho Black History Museum to lay off its staff and severely cut back on operations.

Shenna Smith, from the museum's board of directors, said the changes would take effect immediately.

“Currently expenses are exceeding revenue which has resulted in the board taking these steps to ensure the long term future of the IBHM,” said Shenna Smith, Treasurer of the Board of Directors. “The board and I believe that these actions are needed and appropriate at this time to improve the museum’s financial condition."

The museum will be open to the public on Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Founded in 1995, the Idaho Black History Museum is the only African American history museum in the Pacific Northwest, and one of four in the entire West.

“During the next several weeks the board and the advisory board to the museum will partner to develop a strategic plan that will provide a stable foundation for this important museum and ensure that visitors will again have full access to this historical resource for many years to come,” Smith said.

Some events are still on track: The museum will co-host the 2007 Juneteenth Celebration with St. Paul Baptist Church on Saturday, June 16th from 11a.m. to 4p.m. on the museum grounds.

Museum records show there have been approximately 20,000 visitors to the museum over the past five years.


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