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MOCA's troubled funding situation

November 29, 2008

I am sympathetic to art institutions of all kinds. In the parlance of this buy-and-sell universe, I am an "art consumer." But Museum of Contemporary Art Director Jeremy Strick's notion that "It is time for the city to step forward" ["L.A.'s MOCA in Deep Financial Trouble," by Mike Boehm, Nov. 19] does not apply here, just as it does not apply to the automobile industry -- unless there is strong and reliable stewardship.

As was very well shown in Christopher Knight's piece ["MOCA Board Has to Ante Up," Nov. 20], the money was used up and not replenished. The folks spent their dowry. The director played like King of the Hill and the board played like irresponsible parties. Art, autos -- it does not matter when it comes to the responsibilities of management. You don't wait until somebody falls overboard to buy a lifeboat.

Let MOCA find a way through the efforts of its champions and its board to make MOCA work. It's great to have a modern museum but it is not great to look to the city coffers to subsidize caviar for the king when there is so much else to be done for so many in need and on the edge.

Richard P. McDonough



How can Christopher Knight indict the MOCA board for past failures and suggest their future requirements without naming any of the people he had in mind?

Could he have been as derelict in his reportorial responsibilities as he claims the board was in its managerial responsibilities?

Godfrey Harris

Los Angeles

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