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Eli Broad Halts Payments to Museum of Contemporary Art

originally posted by Philanthropy News Digest, 08-12-12

Philanthropist Eli Broad has not made recent scheduled payments to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles because the institution has not put $2.1 million in grants toward exhibitions as agreed, Bloomberg News reports.

As part of a $30 million pledge to MOCA in December 2008, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation agreed to give $15 million over five years toward exhibitions, to be paid in quarterly installments of $750,000 each. According to a January 2012 budget update obtained by Bloomberg, the October and January payments have not been made. Broad also agreed to match gifts up to $15 million to replenish the museum’s endowment and has paid $6.25 million to date. The museum has not matched any more of Broad’s funds.

Concerns over finances at the museum have resurfaced after four prominent artists resigned from MOCA’s board in July and four other trustees wrote a letter to the Los Angeles Times criticizing the way the museum has been managed under Jeffrey Deitch, who became its director in June 2010. Although MOCA has added wealthy art collectors to the board, contributions and grants fell 21.5 percent to $14.6 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011, while expenses rose 10.7 percent to $17.5 million.

Broad’s $30 million pledge also has affected fundraising, as he is viewed by some as exerting too much influence on the museum he co-founded in 1979, and there has been speculation that Broad will merge MOCA with a private museum he is building nearby. “There’s a resistance,” Frederick M. Nicholas, a former chairman of the board and one of the trustees who wrote to the L.A. Times, told Bloomberg News. “People feel that Eli has taken control over the museum, over the exhibitions. Some of the people who have pledged money aren’t giving it because they are concerned about the future of the museum and how it’s being directed.”

For more information: http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/news/story.jhtml?id=388500007

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