Funding for an African-American cultural museum should have been included in Gov. Mark Dayton’s bonding bill proposal presented earlier this week, but was omitted because of a clerical error, the governor’s office says.
Discovery of the error, and the quick addition of the Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center to his list, came after a museum supporter sent an angry letter to the governor, saying the museum’s omission was “an abomination.”
Activist Roxanne Givens, who’s been pushing for public funding to open the museum, had written in the letter: “I find this a blatant expression and lack of concern for our children of every ethnicity, specifically African-American children.”
Last year she unsuccessfully sought more than $800,000 in state funding for expansion of the museum, located in the Coe Mansion near the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Givens told the governor that other museums in Minnesota honoring Swedish, American Indian, Russian and Jewish cultures were “no more, no less” significant than an African-American museum, says a Strib story.
I couldn’t determine which bonding bills those museums might have been funded by. There is an American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, founded in 1929; a private, nonprofit Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis, was founded in 2002 through a generous gift from honorary consul to the Russian Federation, Raymond Johnson; and there is an effort under way to raise funding for a Jewish Art Museum of Minnesota.
The state Historical Society runs the Mille Lacs Indian Museum.
Republicans who control the Legislature have said they’re not interested in a bonding bill this year.