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DEVELOPING: UNM-affiliated art museum requesting more money with goal of accreditation in mind

Harwood Museum of Art Governing Board Chair Marcia Winter - and other representatives from the museum, which belongs to UNM - appeared before the Board of Regents on Thursday to make their case for an increase in funding that could help the museum's reputation in the long run. 

Currently operating on a budget of just over a million dollars, Harwood administrators have their sights on achieving accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums, which would allow them to pursue other initiatives. 

To do that, the museum is asking for money to help cover utility costs at the facility. Winter said that specific conditions must be sustained at Harwood to help preserve the collections. 

"We feel that if the utilities are taken care of, it would free up just enough funds to address the American Alliance of Museums' other issues," which include adequate staffing for proper care of the in-house art, she said. 

The museum is looking at about $62,000 in utility costs for the year, she said. 

Accreditation from the AAM would ensure the facility is operating in "best museum practices."

Student Regent Ryan Berryman said after researching the potential benefits of an accredited Harwood Museum of Art, he is on board with the goal. 

He said, "it really sounds like the accreditation will open the floodgates for grants and fundraising," rather than just being a "piece of paper on a wall."

Further discussion and possible voting on a budget increase for Harwood will come later. 

This is a developing story. Check back with the Daily Lobo for more. 

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