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Gov. Jerry Brown has gone from an arts Scrooge in January to an arts Santa Claus of sorts in May.

State tax coffers have filled faster than expected this year, and the governor’s annual “May revise” of the original spending plan he proposed in January would share a modest morsel of the wealth -- $5 million -- with the California Arts Council, the state’s arts grant-making agency.

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Madrid's Museo Reina Sofía bought 26 artworks reaching a combined worth of €348,884 at ARCO art fair last week. The total budget spent marks an increase of €144, 259 compared to last year's, when, according to "El Imparcial," the acquisition committee of the museum acquired works for only €204,625 at the fair.

The increase in the museum's budget crowns a successful edition of Spain's top contemporary art fair.

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The Carnegie Museum of Art, which discovered an operating deficit of $300,000 in its annual operating budget of $10 million, announced Thursday that a staff reorganization forced it to eliminate six full-time positions and one part-time job.

Lynn Zelevansky, the museum’s director since August 2009, met with museum trustees Thursday afternoon.

“We deeply regret that positions of current staff members are being affected,” Ms. Zelevansky said in a telephone interview.

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A survey has found that support for the Guggenheim’s Helsinki project is weak among city councilmembers in the Finnish capital, raising questions about the financial future of the museum’s latest global outpost. The January 16 questionnaire, published by the Yle newspaper, found that 39 of 68 city councilmembers polled either do not support the Guggenheim Helsinki at all or object to the provision of public funds to the Guggenheim. These findings follow contentious public discussions of the funding for the Helsinki franchise in Finland, most recently in June 2014, when Guggenheim director Richard Armstrong walked out of an interview after being asked pointed questions about the project’s budget.

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Paris' Musée d'Art Moderne is expanding its collection of photography thanks to a pioneering patronage scheme focused on young collectors, "Le Figaro" reports.

The 21 members of the newly established patronage group have committed to pledge €5,000 each year. This means the museum has secured a yearly budget of €105,000 entirely allocated to the acquisition of international works of photography. Two new female members will join the group during 2015, and the museum is hoping to reach a total of 30 young patrons in the longer term.

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Thursday, 22 January 2015 12:01

The Met Prepares for Major Infrastructure Upgrades

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is preparing to launch “the most high-profile cultural building project in New York over the next ten years,” Thomas Campbell, the museum’s director, recently told "Vanity Fair." Now, the institution is putting its money where its mouth is. The Met is planning a $250 million bond offering on January 26 to finance capital infrastructure improvements over the next decade, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The Met’s $250 million increase in debt coincides with an ambitious plan to overhaul its Modern and contemporary galleries. Although the museum has not tapped an architect or revealed a budget for the project, Campbell hopes to finish the gut renovation in time for the Met’s 150th anniversary in 2020.

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Thursday, 15 January 2015 10:53

California Governor’s Proposal Cuts Arts Funding

Last spring, some heavy lifting in the California Legislature produced a budget bill that gave state arts funding its first legislated boost in more than a decade, albeit a modest one.

California taxpayers’ investment in the California Arts Council, the state’s grantmaking agency for nonprofit arts organizations and public school arts education, rose from $1 million to $6 million.

But Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal for the coming 2015-16 year puts advocates of arts spending back at the bottom of the hill. His spending plan gives the arts council just $1.1 million from the tax-fed general fund.

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New leadership is on the way at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.

John B. Ravenal, currently the curator for modern and contemporary art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, will take the helm as new executive director in mid-January. Interim director Katy Kline has been in place since the departure of Dennis Kois at the end of April. The Lincoln museum, which has an annual budget of about $5 million, was set to announce Ravenal’s appointment on Monday.

Kois left after a six-year tenure that was seen as a time of growth for the deCordova, overseeing enhanced fund-raising efforts and a sharper curatorial focus on sculpture, as well as a five-year strategic plan that went into effect in 2011.

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Friday, 14 November 2014 09:33

Berlin Plans New Modern Art Museum

Berlin's art scene continues to grow. After over two years of controversy and political wrangling, the Bundestag's budget committee has approved €200 million for the construction of a new museum for modern art in Berlin, the DPA reports. The plan was confirmed by the SPD political party's budget expert Swen Schulz on Thursday. The new building is expected to open in 2021.

The confirmation brings an end to years of uncertainty first about whether Berlin would get approval to create its new museum at all, and later regarding who would pay for the creation of the institution (see "Will Private Sector Fund German MoMA?").

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After taking a second look at Los Angeles County government's spending capacity for the 2014-15 fiscal year, the Board of Supervisors has added $54 million to the $84.7 million in arts and culture spending it had authorized in June when the board OK'd the main county budget.

The arts funding was part of a larger "supplemental budget" process that allocated hundreds of millions of dollars, including money that went unspent in the 2013-14 fiscal year that ended June 30, and revenues that weren't certain when the Board of Supervisors passed the primary budget in June.

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