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Charlotte Museum Of History Suspends Operations

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The Charlotte Museum of History announced today it is suspending its operations for four to six months. In the meantime, interim executive director Kathy Ridge says museum officials will research similar museums and learn from their business plans. Between 2009 and 2011, the museum's annual revenue dropped by a third from $1 and a half million to $1 million dollars. Ridge is blaming the economic downturn. "This hibernation period is going to allow us to focus and dive deep on what could we do to build a business model that's sustainable financially and engages the interests of thousands more people here in Charlotte," she says. In 2011, the museum had 17 employees. 10 were laid off last November. After Friday, the curator and historian will be the only full-time employees. The interim executive director and the chief financial officer are contracted employees and will stay on in those positions. The Arts and Science Council, the museum's largest annual donor, will provide financial and fundraising consultants to work with the museum moving forward.