The Peoria facility is facing similar challenges after reporting lower than expected attendance for last year as well as a budget deficit. Gappmayer says there are opportunities for the museum to increase attendance.
“And that’s the opportunity to take those four disciple areas: art, history, achievement and science, and work on programming that addresses a single idea from those various perspectives. And so to engage people more deeply through relevant programming, idea-based programming is and has been, for me, a very effective strategy in growing audience.”
Gappmayer says the museum also intends to better inform the public of the good things happening at the museum. For example, he says more than 20-thousand school children have gone through the facility. Gappmayer encourages skeptics of the museum to visit and see what it has to offer. He says those with major concerns about operations can contact him directly.