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HPPR Arts, Culture & History

Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum's Struggles Gain Statewide Attention

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Who What Where Nguyen Why
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The financial woes of a prominent West Texas Museum have been receiving a lot of statewide attention over the past couple of weeks. The Panhandle-Plains Museum, on the campus of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, appears to be in serious financial trouble.

First, the museum was the focus of a feature in the Texas Observer entitled “Plight at the Museum: The best Texas history museum you’ve never heard of is staring down a financial crisis. Will it survive?”

The NPR newsmagazine Texas Standard then picked up the story, publishing and broadcasting a statewide piece called “The Panhandle-Plains Museum, One Of The State’s Best, Is Fighting For Its Life.”

The museum has been a casualty of funding cuts to higher education. In 2017 the Texas Legislature slashed its annual contribution by 30 percent. The museum staff is now down to operating with a skeleton crew.