Chap 7: ‘Balancing mission and money: Issues in museum economics,’ by Ted Silberberg and Gail Dexter Lord

In my new edited collection Museum Practice the second section of the book focuses on ‘Resources.’ This can be understood as the ‘stuff’ that museums contain, whether it is the objects at the heart of collecting institutions or the curators and other staff who assemble, care for and research them, or indeed the money and financial resources that make this work possible whether it is charges, fund raising, marketing or sponsorship.

In chapter seven, authors Ted Silberberg and Gail Dexter Lord, who have extensive professional experience in this area, provide a comprehensive and practical overview of museum economics in a time of financial restraint, including admission charges and other revenue centres, operating expenses and collaborations, arguing that there needs to be a balance between “mission-related and financial imperatives.”

Ted Silberberg is the Senior Principal responsible for market and financial planning at Lord Cultural Resources, the world’s largest firm specialized in the planning and management of museums and other cultural institutions. He has worked in the field for over 30 years, is a Certified Management Consultant, and the author of various articles associated with business planning for museums. He has spoken at a variety of conferences on issues associated with revenue generation, cost control, market analysis, site evaluation and other related business planning topics.

Gail Dexter Lord is Co-President of Lord Cultural Resources, and has helped to plan numerous museums throughout the world. With her husband and partner, Barry Lord, she is co-author of the Manual of Museum Management, co-author of the Manual of Strategic Planning for Museums, co-editor of The Manual of Museum Planning and other volumes in their Manual series. She is most recently co-author of Artists, Patrons and the Public: Why Culture Changes. (All publications with AltaMira Press). Gail has been a featured speaker at a wide variety of conferences around the world.


About mccartco

Conal McCarthy is a former museum professional and academic who has published widely on museum history, theory and practice. He is the Director of the Museum and heritage studies programme at Victoria University of Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.
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