Figge Art Museum looking for long-term funding from the City

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The Figge Art Museum is looking for a long-term commitment from Davenport leaders.

On Thursday, February 12, 2015, the newly-formed Figge Task Force held its first meeting. The group, made up of three Davenport aldermen and three Figge Board of Trustees members, toured the museum before sitting down to discuss its future.

Currently, the City gives $753,000 a year to the Figge, making up roughly a third of the museum's annual budget. In return, the museum manages and displays the City's extensive art collection. That contract, though, expires in 2023.

Tim Schiffer, executive director of the Figge, said the board is broaching the topic of continued funding early because city support is crucial to securing private donations.

"People are saying to us that they want to know what's going to happen, and when we ask people to support the museum, they want to know that the museum has a secure future," said Schiffer.

City Council members, though, made no promises at Thursday's meeting.

"Some of us have some concerns about committing future councils to do something in perpetuity," said second ward alderman Bill Edmond.

Edmond said the task force plans to look at all options for future funding, including the possibility of a regional or county-wide arts levy.

"Something like that would take our state legislature to change a few things and then a county-wide referendum here to see if in the future, at least Scott County could contribute to the future support," said Edmond.

The group plans to meet again next month to discuss more funding possibilities.