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City of Peoria Press Release

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Peoria Agrees to Store West Valley Art Collection

City Steps Up After Sale of Museum Building, Hopes to Host Future Exhibits


PEORIA, Ariz. (April 20, 2010) – The City Council today approved an agreement with the West Valley Art Museum to provide safe, secure storage for the museum’s 1,651-object art collection for two years.

The museum has been seeking a new home for its $1.5 million collection of Arizona art, ethnic dress and fine prints since the financially driven sale of its building in December 2009. Its board approved the agreement April 8, and it faces an April 30 deadline to move out of its former home in Surprise.

Under the agreement, the museum will pay for the move. Volunteers have been inventorying and packing the collection in preparation. The city expects to spend about $4,700 on electrical circuitry, additional security measures and insurance.

By providing the storage space, the city is giving the museum board time to regroup and consider its options, including a permanent move to Peoria.

Susan J. Daluddung, the deputy city manager for development and community services, says the agreement is a win-win proposition for the city and museum.

“We are committed to the idea of including gallery space in our public buildings,” Daluddung said. “When we realized the West Valley Art Museum had a collection that needed a home, it seemed like a natural fit.”

The opportunity to partner with the museum also is in line with recommendations in the Arts and Culture Master Plan approved by the City Council in 2009. In addition, city officials believe that having the museum’s collection in Peoria, particularly the Arizona art portion, would enhance local activities honoring the centennial of Arizona statehood in 2012.

“The museum has been around for 30 years and is an important cultural asset to the West Valley. Despite the loss of the building, concerned people were working hard to keep the collection together,” Daluddung said. “Our immediate goal has been to ensure safe, secure storage for the collection in one location. Once we’ve accomplished that, we’ll have time to work with museum officials on options for the future.”

William Benz, chairman of the museum board, said he appreciated city officials’ commitment to finding a stopgap storage solution for the museum.

“We look forward to building a strong relationship with the city as we move forward with the resurgence of the museum,” Benz said.

In the coming months, the museum board is expected to consider amending its Articles of Incorporation so that it could loan items in its collection to the city for display in public facilities. The existing articles permit the loan, lease, sale or donation of items only to other tax-exempt, non-profit entities.