Museum exhibits captivate visitors

By Don Farmer don.farmer@age.co.nz -
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A visitor checks out the Featherston Camp centenary exhibition at Aratoi Museum. PHOTO/FILE
A visitor checks out the Featherston Camp centenary exhibition at Aratoi Museum. PHOTO/FILE

Aratoi art and history museum recorded 7649 visitors to its premises in the three months to the end of December and, of those, 4920 actually went into the galleries.

According to a quarterly report prepared by Andrea Jackson, manager of community facilities for Masterton District Council, 94 per cent "of those personally visiting" Aratoi in the last year reported being very satisfied, or satisfied.

This information was included by Ms Jackson in a paper prepared for consideration at today's Audit and Risk Committee meeting and was gleaned from a National Research Bureau Communitrak survey.

An audit of Aratoi's collection has now finished with the last of 600 objects in the Broughton Collection being audited.

Ms Jackson reported there has also been a "formal loan request" made by City Gallery in Wellington for the Colin McCahon painting Poster for the Urewera No 2.

On the financial side, Aratoi Regional Trust reported a deficit at the end of December of $53,000 against a year-to-date budget deficit of $37,000 "an unfavourable deficit of $15,000".

Ms Jackson said not all grant applications that had been successfully sought had been accounted for by the end of December.

Further, she revealed that, during the three-month period, 53 per cent of Aratoi's revenue came from sources other than Masterton District Council, excluding the building rental grant from Lands Trust Masterton.

Expenditure for the period was over budget by $10,000, mainly because of extra advertising and promotion costs for the Featherston Camp exhibition, promotion of which had cost $8000 with funding from the Lotteries Grants Board.

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