Dime Museum Needs 400,000 Dimes to Stay Open
Do you work for a corporation or a foundation? Do you have money?
Then you can save the Baltimore's American Dime Museum.
But you have to do it now. Otherwise the museum will close forever on December 31.
Dick Horne, owner/operator of the museum, has told us that if he can get a commitment of $40,000 from a corporation or a foundation -- or a wealthy person -- he can keep the museum open for another year.
The irony is that the American Dime Museum has no trouble attracting visitors. It's an impressive collection of scary mummies, weird scientific devices, famous bodily excretions, and one-of-kind sideshow displays, lovingly curated by Horne. We were so impressed with the place that we made it our Sight of the Week a couple of months back. "But unless you can afford the rent in a high-traffic area" -- which Horne cannot -- "you can never survive with just the attendance coming through the door."
Horne blames his own lack of ability as a fundraiser for the museum's current predicament. "We all have our strengths and weaknesses," he said. "My weakness is the business end." What Horne needs is operating funding -- money to pay the gas and electric bills, and the rent. "That's very difficult to find," he told us. "I've had a whole lot of people who've told me, 'I'll give you $100 or $200,' but that's not fair to them. The museum doesn't have any debt. And I'm not gonna stick their money in my pocket. What the museum needs is a commitment from somebody who'll say, 'Here's $40,000 -- we want to keep you open for another year.'"
Horne is adamant that the museum can be saved. $40,000 will keep the place open. "For funding for a full year for a museum, that's sure not much."
Contact: Dick Horne, The American Dime Museum - 410-230-0263.[12/01/2005]
- 2007 - Closed - collection auctioned.
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