National Gallery’s cash blow
Bermuda National Gallery has faced a new financial blow with the need to replace its entire air-conditioning system.
The gallery's treasurer reported “major capital investment issues” back in March, and with this latest expense of $160,000, the gallery has had to draw from its endowment fund.
Director of the Bermuda National Gallery, Lisa Howie, said that everything had been done to minimise the costs of the replacement of the AC.
They would use all the original duct work and would house a new unit in existing office space rather than spend money removing the old one from the attic.
She emphasised the importance of climate control to protect works of national importance while helping to create a healthy environment for the visitors and students who use the facility for cultural and educational purposes.
Ms Howie told The Royal Gazette: “The measure of a society's wealth is not only economical.
“A country's wealth is also measured in education and culture and social services.
“It is imperative that while we manage the financial struggles affecting the country in total, and the third sector in particular, that investors continue to place high-level importance on the function of culture.
“Culture doesn't stand alone — it ‘happens' when people are actively involved, and, in turn, this impacts society.
“At Bermuda National Gallery we augment the educational capacity of schools, and learning in general, from ages two and up, with well-considered programmes.
“We aim to engage a diverse audience with inspiring art exhibitions and a permanent collection that spans centuries and regions.
“Without a climate-controlled space we cannot house artwork nor operate at museum standard.
“Managing the premises is critical to achieving the bigger-picture goals of community engagement and social enrichment.”
Ms Howie noted there was a long-term commitment to continue the gallery, which has 17 years left on the lease.
However, this latest expense means the gallery has to pay back its endowment “in an active way and puts pressure on fundraising to make ends meet.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the gallery can do so through the Bermuda Fine Art's HSBC account: 010-368-322-001.