I Care about the Future of the Barnum Museum


by Todd Robbins - Oct. 6th 2010



Though I can not officially speak for the folks that run the Barnum Museum, I do have a good working relationship with them. I have done a number of programs for them and was up there last night (Oct. 5, 2010) to do a talk on Barnum's legacy. Since I have glimpsed what is going on there, I might be able to shine a bit of light on the situation.

I find Mr. Rizzo's intentions admirable, but his ire is completely uncalled for. The Barnum Museum (like most public institutions) receive calls on a regular basis from good people eager to tell the administration what the administration should be doing.

A single evening of sideshow acts would be a lovely thing, but it would make at the most $5,000 for the museum. At the most. And that is assuming that EVERYONE would donate their time for the effort. That included not only the talent, but also the crew, staff and venue. And the advertising, print and all other cost would have to be donated too. And that also assumes that the event was well attended. Those are big assumptions to make. And it would be a VERY large undertaking that would require a good number of people and great deal of time to do right.

Instead the staff of the museum (all three of them) are reaching out to individuals, government agencies and organizations that can with a single stroke of a pen provide the Barnum Museum far more than a couple of thousand dollars and truly make a difference in raising the more than 6 million dollars needed to repair the museum.

If Mr. Rizzo wishes to produce on his own a sideshow night at a venue somewhere and donate all the proceeds the Barnum Museum, then I will be the first to offer my services in any capacity needed.

But please, don't tell the museum what they should do.

And I don't know who Mr. Rizzo spoke to at the museum, but they have never played down Barnum's history of presenting freaks. They had a prominent billboard promoting the museum that featured the famous Matthew Brady photo of a group Barnum's freaks with the slogan, "And you think your family is strange?"


Click here for Johnny Rizzo's Article

WWBD - What Would Barnum Do????????

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