A vote of confidence by city leaders for the Putnam Museum. Wednesday they held a ceremonial signing for a new agreement that will significantly increase city support over the next five or six years.
President and CEO, Kim Findlay, says for its first 145 years, the Putnam was privately funded. But then the trust fund ran out, and the museum has scrambled since then to find the money to preserve its collection and support its many educational programs.
In recent years, Davenport has appropriated about 120,000 dollars in operating funds. But under the new agreement, that will gradually increase to 650,000 a year, within 6 years.
"It is very important to the long-term success of the Putnam and we're very appreciative that the council sees that value that the Putnam returns to the community and that they are putting funds there."
She calls the agreement "exciting and historic."
Findlay says the Putnam's annual budget now is 3 to 4 million dollars, with a full-time staff of 28. Currently about 30,000 school children and teachers participate in its educational programs each year.