Mark Twain House Gets a Boost

Because one gets a little weary reading about bankruptcies and more bankruptcies, it’s nice to see a little good news—the troubled Mark Twain House in Hartford, Conn., recently received a $500,000 grant from the Annenberg Foundation, which should help the nonprofit make its debt payments. The Greenwich Time finds a dignified way to celebrate the cash infusion while pointing out that it’s not nearly enough:

Cost overruns have resulted in the layoffs of more than 30 museum staff members over the last four years, leading to fears the house itself might have to go out of business. Officials say they “overbuilt and under-fundraised” when they put up the acclaimed visitors center, and now the 68,000 annual visitors could be turned away if the situation isn’t reversed.

The state would be expected to step in before the worst happened, but officials have made clear that all attractions will need to get used to less support from Hartford. There is no aspect of the state budget that won’t see some tightening, and the Mark Twain House would do well to look elsewhere.

So it falls to private citizens and businesses, themselves facing a difficult economy with the worst likely yet to come. It won’t be easy, but any help would go toward preserving the greatness of Connecticut. We owe it to the next generation.

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