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Remington Museum planning Centennial Celebration to help financial struggles
News & Events

Remington Museum planning Centennial Celebration to help financial struggles

Pictured: Mimi Van Deusen, the new Interim Executive Director of Ogdensburg’s Frederic Remington Art Museum for the last four months, stands near Remington’s painting, “Squatter’s Cabin.” Van Deusen served as Potsdam Museum Director for 15 years previously. Photo submitted by the Frederic Remington Art Museum

BY CHERYL SHUMWAY
North Country This Week

The Frederic Remington Art Museum is planning a Centennial Celebration to aid its financial struggles.

Fulton Road Band of Lisbon, playing classic rock, and Brad Byrd will perform at the 100th anniversary event Friday, July 14, from 7 to 11 p.m. at the museum, 303 Washington St.

There will also be a cash bar by Smuggler’s Cafe, hors d’oeuvres by Sandwich Warehouse, and a silent auction.

“Your museum needs you more than ever. Our Centennial Celebration is an opportunity to celebrate the legacy of commitment by donors, trustees, staff and volunteers. Please join us for this major fundraising event to mark the museum’s centennial,” said Mimi Van Deusen, the new Interim Museum Director.

The silent auction includes donations and gift cards from many local businesses and artists, as well as golf packages and overnight stays at Singer Castle and Lake Placid.

The cost is $50 per person for tickets if purchased by July 7, or $60 after. Guests can pay online, by calling the museum at 315-393-2425, in person at the museum, and at the door. The event is sponsored by Pepsi Cola Ogdensburg Bottlers.

The Centennial Celebration of the Frederic Remington Art Museum is one of many fundraisers planned to help the museum face serious financial challenges.

“The museum needs to raise significant monies at this critical time in order to survive,” said Van Deusen, who is in her fourth month as Interim Director of the Remington Museum. She previously served as Potsdam Public Museum Director for 15 years.

“Over the last 100 years, the museum, library and City of Ogdensburg have enjoyed a partnership. Due to the current financial situation of the City of Ogdensburg, the museum no longer receives financial support. With the loss of support from the city, and the effects of the pandemic on fundraising and attendance, the museum now finds itself at a critical time,” said Van Deusen.

“Up until five years ago, the City of Ogdensburg gave the museum about $100,000 per year to cover payroll, benefits, insurance and retirement expenses. Last year the museum received zero from the city,” she said.

“The museum’s annual expenses are about $800,000,” said Van Deusen.

“Big philanthropic donations have been the museum’s bread and butter in the past, but that generation is passing away, and we’re getting fewer gifts,” Van Deusen said.

“The board is actively involved and engaged in solving the museum’s financial problems,” she said.

The museum’s staff is down to five full-time employees, half the number it had a few years ago, and trying so hard to do twice the workload, said Van Deusen.

“I love the staff. I cannot give them enough credit. They really care about the place so much,” she said.

State Senator Mark Walczyk met with Van Deusen and museum staff on June 30 to discuss the museum’s fiscal challenges.

“Walczyk is chasing down a $100,000 grant for the museum’s roof repairs that was put on hold in Senator Patty Ritchie’s office during Covid, and then got rescoped because of scarcity of roofing material,” she said.

“The museum is very supportive of the Senator’s ongoing support of Frederic Remington’s legacy,” said Van Deusen.