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Oahu art museums consider merging

August 29, 2009
The Maui News

HONOLULU (AP) - Two art museums on Oahu are in talks about a possible merger in an effort to deal with the poor economy.

The talks involve the boards of the Honolulu Academy of Arts and The Contemporary Museum.

Robert Saarnio is deputy director of the Academy of Arts. He said Thursday that there's no certainty as to what will happen.

Academy of Arts board member Lynne Johnson says it's too early to tell.

The Contemporary Museum laid off half its work force - 11 full-time and 14 part-time employees - a year ago. Since then, the Academy of Arts has lost 19 positions to layoffs, attrition or early retirement.

The 82-year-old Academy of Arts now employs 120 people. It is home to more than 50,000 pieces of art.



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