Newseum draws visitors but loses money

tags: museums, Washington D.C., Washington Post, Newseum



WASHINGTON — In five years since moving to its new home overlooking the U.S. Capitol, the Newseum has become a major attraction with 4 million people visiting its exhibits about journalism and the First Amendment. Yet it’s been struggling mightily to cover its costs.

Public financial documents reviewed by The Associated Press show revenue fell short of expenses by millions of dollars in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Its parent organization, the Freedom Forum, has used its endowment to provide the bulk of the Newseum’s operating revenue since its creation, and the endowment’s principal value has steadily declined from $600 million to about $373 million at the end of 2011.

Nonprofit management consultants say it’s worrisome for a museum to be relying so heavily on a shrinking endowment, but the Newseum’s top executive says it’s not in financial trouble....




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