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Friday, Aug 19, 2022
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Thousand Oaks Museum Shutters

Covid’s affect on fundraising leads to institution ‘running out of time.’

The California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks (CMATO) has closed, citing financial troubles stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Museum Chair Nancy Chappell said that at first, the pandemic first made it difficult to plan programming, connect with supporters and develop a board. After closing at one point during the pandemic, the museum opened back up with strong momentum, but not enough to sustain itself.

“Fundraising was really hard to get started again because there was so much uncertainty and people didn’t want to come out for a long time,” Chappell said. “We tried to recreate the fundraiser that had been successful before Covid, and it just fell flat. By that point we had run out of time.”

The closure comes at a time when the museum had more members than ever, consistent monthly programming and other initiatives, according to Roya Alt, the museum’s executive director.

The museum was initiated in 2008 and moved to the Oaks Mall in 2018. Its budget is about $250,000 a year with its primary source of funding coming from individual donors. Chappell said that the loss of the museum is significant for local people seeking art outlets.

The museum’s final day of operation was Sunday, June 19. It will have a donation day on June 25, when it will offer furniture, office and art supplies to local nonprofits. 

Antonio Pequeño IV
Antonio Pequeño IV
Antonio “Tony” Pequeño IV is a reporter covering health care, finance and law for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. He specializes in reporting on some of the biggest names in the Valley’s biotechnology sector. In addition to his work with the Business Journal, Tony has reported with BuzzFeed News on the unsupervised use of Clearview AI, a controversial facial recognition technology. Tony, who also conducts freelance reporting, graduated from the USC’s Master of Science in Journalism program in 2021. He is in his fifth year as a journalist as of 2021.
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