Council to Discuss Future Re-Opening of Fullerton Museum Center May 4

Note: This story was updated on April 17 to reflect the updated scheduling of the City Council’s anticipated consideration of the Museum Center’s re-opening from its April 20 to May 4 meeting.

The City Council will consider a future reopening of the Fullerton Museum Center during its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 4. The Museum Center has been closed during the pandemic and staff either laid off or reassigned to other Parks and Recreation roles. The Fullerton Museum Center Association Board of Trustees did not support a suggested April 15 reopening date citing the need to assess the facility and its collections as well as staffing shortages and readiness of a planned exhibit about Tommy Lasorda, the longtime Dodgers manager and Fullerton resident who passed away in January.

The FMCA Board has expressed frustration at being previously locked out of the facility after its closing and with City Manager Ken Domer searching for financial partners to bolster the museum’s financial footing without the involvement of the Board. Domer reportedly conducted a tour of the museum for officials from CSUF without the knowledge of the Board. During the March 16 Council meeting, Domer acknowledged the lack of communication between the City and the FMCA Board and promised that changes had been made. Mayor Bruce Whitaker and Mayor Pro tem Nick Dunlap supported an earlier timeline for opening the museum, but Council member Ahmad Zahra, who is a member of the FMCA Board, countered that no exhibits could be ready that soon.

The FMCA Board considers a June opening more likely and a July beer garden opening pending event parameters allowed by COVID-19 restrictions. During the April 20 meeting, City Manager Domer is expected to update the Council about the possibility of receiving grants through the recently-passed American Rescue Plan Act, which could allow FMC to recover non-refundable traveling deposits and other expenses incurred prior to its closing because of the pandemic.

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  1. The city fired all of the museum staff trying to save money. It will never re-open with the strength and reputation it had prior to the pandemic. Domer has essentially de-funded all of Fullerton’s art without any insight from arts professionals or leaders. The damage is done, incredibly heartbreaking.

    • I wonder what sort of insight the “arts professionals” would have provided.