LA MOCA’s Financial Problems Provoke a Screed
from the Art Critic at the LA Times
Christopher Knight is pissed. And you can’t blame him. Here are some highlights from his “Open Letter” to MOCA’s Board of Trustees:
Ten years ago, in the spring of 1998, The Times reported that MOCA was operating on a $10-million annual budget with a nearly $50-million endowment. A ratio of 1 to 5 — or even 1 to 4, if you were exaggerating numbers then — for budget to endowment is pretty good for a nonprofit.
Last year, by grim contrast, MOCA was reportedly operating on close to a $20-million annual budget with a $20-million endowment. That’s a ratio of 1 to 1 — the technical term for which is “suicide.” [ . . . ]
Forgotten in this ridiculous saga are the Three Gs of trusteeship. Your job is to give art and money, get art and money, and guard the art and money you have gotten. So, here is what you need to do to actually rescue MOCA. It is not complicated, but it will require work.
You must call an urgent board meeting, gather round the table, pull out your checkbooks and calculators and stay in that room until you have cobbled together at least $25 million. That will buy you a little time — 18 to 24 months — during which you must do two things.
An Open Letter to MOCA’s Board of Trustees (Los Angeles Times)