As retrenching efforts continue, Newport Harbor Art Museum's board of directors voted Thursday night to reduce its 1992-93 operating budget by 9% in an effort to cope with an accumulated deficit of $768,702 and a sluggish economy.
The scaled-down, $1.53-million budget reflects savings of about $280,000 from layoffs of nine staff members earlier this year. A spokeswoman for the museum said no further staff cuts for the coming year are "envisioned or mandated" by the budget.
Additionally, the board received its first look at a strategic planning report, which reaffirmed the museum's mission of collecting post-World War II California art, but which also included one significant change. The report redefines Newport Harbor's primary audience as Orange County rather than Southern California as a whole.
The museum's operating budget for the new fiscal year, which begins July 1, does not include funding for exhibitions. A Newport Harbor spokeswoman explained that the projected 1992-93 exhibit budget--$364,500 for 12 shows--depends on fully funding each exhibit before scheduling it. The 1991-92 budget provided $244,000 for eight exhibits--virtually the same amount per show as in the new budget.
In a prepared statement, board president Joan F. Beall said: "We have created a budget which is as conservative as we could (make it) and which continues the high level of exhibitions and programs . . . The consumer won't see any differences.
"We're not reducing hours; we're not raising prices; we're not reducing the number of exhibitions. We will continue a full program of tours for schoolchildren, free (admission on) Tuesdays, and adults' and kids' art classes . . . "
Five-year goals listed in the planning report include expanding and remodeling the museum's facility and using satellite locations to expand outreach. The report was drawn up last summer during a two-day retreat involving an 18-member group of trustees and staff members.
The report, however, made no mention of the museum's proposed expansion into the adjacent Newport Beach Central Library building, a plan outlined in documents filed earlier this year with the California Arts Council.
By fall 1993, the library will move to a $14-million building under construction at MacArthur Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway. There was no discussion at the board meeting about the library proposal.
Longtime plans to build a $40-million museum on a 10.5-acre site owned by the Irvine Co. were indefinitely postponed in January because of the recession.