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Dallas Museum of Art Seeks City Bonds

Dallas Museum
Dallas Museum of Art | Image by EQRoy

The Office of Arts and Culture has proposed allocating roughly $11.5 million to the Dallas Museum of Art.

As the museum requested $36 million, The Dallas Morning News reported, the City office is proposing about a third of that.

Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s director, initially asked for $85 million in taxpayer funds to maintain the museum facilities earlier this year, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.

Council Member Omar Narvaez referred to the request as “a pipe dream,” while Council Member Adam Bazaldua suggested that the institution push harder for private donations, especially for the DMA’s multimillion-dollar expansion efforts.

Arteaga’s more recently requested $36 million would be used for improvements to the DMA’s security system and building repairs, according to the DMN.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, the museum’s security system came under heavy scrutiny last year when a break-in occurred in June 2022.

The alarms failed to go off as an intruder allegedly smashed into the building’s front entrance with a metal chair and then destroyed multiple display cases, shattering four ceramic objects.

The DMA’s facilities also sustained flood damage that August, with two of its galleries affected.

Alongside the fallout from these events last year during what Arteaga called “a rough time,” he called attention to the DMA’s other infrastructure needs, including “necessary and basic repairs, including the buildings’ fire control/suppression system, which is not up to current code, and the HVAC system, which has reached its critical ‘end of life’ stage,” according to the DMN.

“[We] are feeling the challenges of maintaining the city’s 40-year-old building … It is a city-owned facility, and we hope with this board campaign the city will be able to make these repairs,” Arteaga added.

Next year’s entire bond capacity is planned to be approximately $1 billion. The package is expected to be reviewed by the City Council and voted on by residents next May.

Yet, as recently reported in The Dallas Express, some council members suggested during a budget workshop last week moving the bond election from May to November.

They argued that the City needs more funding, citing infrastructure costs and the $3 billion of unfunded liabilities in the Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund.

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