Letters to the Editor

Support PAMM

Re the Sept. 12 Other Views column, PAMM shouldn’t get public funding: How could any piece be so far off base?

In the ’90s, when the museum decided to become a collecting institution and was moving toward its home on the bay, I was the chair of what was then called the Miami Art Museum.

Here’s what I know happened:

▪ During our discussions with Miami-Dade County and the city of Miami that led to the now widely praised Perez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County, the museum did promise — and delivered on that promise — not to request more than the bond funding approved in 2004 by county voters to construct the new building.

▪ We always made it clear to the county that there would be a need to grow annual operating support for the museum because of the expansion and via dollars generated through hotel bed taxes (which are allocated to major cultural organizations including PAMM, the Adrienne Arsht Center and the Frost Museum of Science). The discussions on this matter were always full and clear.

▪ While operating expenses and funding from private donors have quadrupled with the expansion, both as expected, county support has not kept pace.

There is a great tradition in this country of public-private support and partnership for our most vital cultural and educational institutions. Public support should be a most reasonable expectation.

David Lawrence Jr., Coral Gables