Gallery of Contemporary Art faces budget crisis

| August 07, 2003

The Gallery of Contemporary Art at UCCS is facing major budget cuts that will likely affect the quality of its shows, said gallery director and curator Gerry Riggs.

"The main cut was losing my primary staff person, the assistant director," said Riggs. "It was left up to Linda Nolan, the new dean of the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. She cut the position that had been in place for 14 years, and she didn't have to do it."

Nolan said that the job had not been cut, but frozen.

"With the budget situation that way it is, that position is on hold until we can find alternative sources of funding," she said, adding, "We have to be more creative and innovative about collaborating with other organizations and other colleges in the area, and I think we're up to the task."

Riggs said the loss of grant money from the beleaguered Colorado Council for the Arts has added to the Gallery of Contemporary Art's financial woes. The loss of that money means that other large, independent funders are less likely to consider giving money.

Membership, he noted, can only pull in up to $18,000 a year on top of several thousand additional dollars from a handful of local benefactors.

For now, Riggs said that the GCA won't be able to acquire any new international or national shows and will be forced to focus almost exclusively on regional art.

"It's just killing me," said Riggs. "I can't even tell you how deeply disturbed I am about it."

-- Noel Black

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