From Hyperallergic: “…Similarly to campaigns against Warren Kanders and the Sackler family, the letter calls for the removal of trustees whose business interests and political donations undermine the museum’s community-oriented work. In their place the letter demands ordinary museumgoers — in numbers commensurate with museum revenue from membership and tickets. (Membership and admissions accounted for a combined 28% of SFMOMA’s revenue in the 2018 fiscal year, according to its most recent biennial report.)
The letter singles out former board chairman Charles Schwab, the billionaire financier and prolific Donald Trump donor, calling for his and his wife Helen Schwab’s names to be removed from Benezra’s endowed title (“Helen and Charles Schwab Director”) and the museum walls. These acknowledgements of their investments, the letter states, make the museum a “necessarily unsafe space for many employees and visitors.”
The letter also alludes to trustees whose wealth derives from “arms production and tools of mass surveillance” as being “fundamentally in conflict with SFMOMA’s supposed mission and goals.” It links to an analysis of SFMOMA trustees’ conservative political donations, Trump administration ties, and war profiteering published last year by the local San Francisco news website Mission Local. More than a dozen trustees or their spouses are senior figures at firms invested in military contractors, the analysis found.
The letter also calls for board transparency, including direct communication between trustees and staff. (Decisions such as approving no-interest home loans for Garrels and director Neal Benezra have lately drawn scrutiny.) Currently, “trustees are sheltered from the realities of the museum’s daily operations by the very leaders who are enacting and enabling harm,” it reads…”
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