The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM), located on the West Texas A&M University campus, has recently caught attention from news of potential budget cuts.
The Texas Legislator’s decision on potential decreases in funding to the A&M system will have an effect on the PPHM. If the A&M system faces cuts, the special funding that the museum receives under West Texas A&M will be decreased.
“Our budget is unique in that we have several revenue streams. So, WT is wonderful to us and they do our funding for a lot of our top salaries, for our benefits, they help with building and infrastructure and all sorts of things,” Communications and Marketing Director Stephanie Price said. “They are great to us, so that is just what we could be facing, if WT gets budget cuts then we will see budget cuts as well.”
The budget cut will require the museum to make adjustments. However, according to Price, the museum is not in any danger of closing.
“I want to stress that we are not closing, we were never in danger of closing,” Price said.
This would not be the first time that the museum has faced budget cuts from sessions. This is something their budget committee, finance director, and director will look at. If cuts happen, they will determine the best course of action.
“We are like any nonprofit when one funding source doesn’t come through all the way, we look to other methods. We are hosting a giant fundraiser in April it’s called UnVeiled, and it’s about our Rococo collection,” Price said.
The museum has a variety of revenue streams. This including donations, memberships, and admissions. According to Price, there has been a positive amount of support from the community as people learned of the potential budget decrease.
“People overall love their museum. We consider ourselves the community’s museum, the whole panhandle’s, and we have heard from a lot of people that they want to help or get involved or what can they do. That has been really encouraging that people want to understand our funding and how it works and what they can do to help,” Price said.
The news of the budget cuts caught the attention of the WTAMU community. For university alumni Cristien Holguin, he was upset to hear that potential cuts could be made. Holguin believes that the PPHM is a unique place that tells the story of history.
“The museum isn’t just a museum. The PPHM is in it of itself a piece of not just important WT history but Texas history… Those stories and history itself must be preserved for the future generations to come. History itself is a story, it is our responsibility as a society to keep that story written,” Holguin said.
The museum has a variety of plans for the future for exhibits and events. One event coming up for the museum is their UnVeiled event that will showcase the Rococo collection. This French-themed gala will be one of the big fundraisers for the museum.
“We are going to show off that collection at our big event and make it a French-themed night with lots of food and dancing. Just a really wonderful, kind of high level, fundraiser for us. Our first formal one in a long time,” Price said.
Community members and students are welcome to any upcoming open events. People can also get involved by sponsoring events, sponsoring exhibits, or becoming members. One way to help contribute to the museum is by purely visiting it.
“The museum is a tremendous asset to the university and to Canyon. It has a wonderful reputation across the state, it has exceptional collections. Support for the museum by the students and by the citizens of Canyon and Amarillo is very important to the survival of the museum,” PPHM Director Carol Lovelady said.
The PPHM is the largest history museum in Texas. The museum offers a variety of exhibits and education. For more information about the museum, admissions, and to learn about upcoming events visit their website http://www.panhandleplains.org