[Source: Lindsay Butler, East Valley Tribune] -- Mesa’s two museums have earned far above what they expected this year, and plan to have a large enough surplus next year to return more than $60,000 to city coffers. Mesa Arts and Culture director Johann Zietsman attributed the success at the Arizona Museum of Natural History (pictured) and the Arizona Museum for Youth to creative tactics and innovative people. “This is a huge achievement,” Zietsman told the City Council during a budget presentation Thursday. The Arizona Museum of Natural History budgeted $325,000 in revenue this year, but expects to earn $400,000.
Next year’s revenue was budgeted at $344,000 but is expected to total $430,000, allowing the museum to give $43,000 back to the city. Meanwhile, the Arizona Museum for Youth budgeted $162,000 this year but will reach more than $216,000. Next year the museum expects a $38,000 surplus and will send $19,000 back to the city. Vice Mayor Claudia Walters applauded the efforts of the Arts and Culture Department. “I am so impressed,” she said. “I just don’t think we can overstate the changes taking place with the perception and community buy-in.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]