Can MOCA Be Saved? - NBC Southern California

Can MOCA Be Saved?

Beloved museum's fate hangs in the balance

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    Can MOCA Be Saved?
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    Provocative work like this piece, from ''(C) Murakami'' in October 2007, is just a snippet of the contemporary, often controversial art MOCA delivers to Los Angeles.

    Something sounds strangely familiar about our Museum of Contemporary Art's plight. Losing money hand over fist, rumors of poor leadership and imminent pink slips, possible public bail-outs ... Fannie and Freddie? The Bush presidency?

    Funded mostly by private donations, MOCA is many millions in debt. Jeremy Strick, the museum's director, is scrambling for cash and even considering merging with other museums (LACMA's been proposed). In the current economic crisis, are his pleas falling on deaf ears? Some are calling for his resignation.

    Complicating matters is the talk of a new Beverly Hills museum that could be potential competition for MOCA. But Eli Broad, the philanthropist looking to start the project, swears he wishes MOCA only the best.

    So what to do? Do LA residents bail MOCA out, one donation at a time? Does Strick need to be ousted? Should it merge with LACMA, or even replaced by Broad's museum? Preserving our culture vs. enforcing management to take responsibility. Tough call, LA, tell us what you think.