Because of significant financial struggles, the Orange County Historical Museum may only be able to stay open for the next two years.
This isn’t the first time the independently-funded museum has experienced controversy. Two years ago, the museum board successfully advocated to have the words “Confederate Memorial” removed from the front of the building, which led to protests and counter-protests over contextualizing history.
Last year, the museum was forced to close during their busiest seasons for 18 weeks due to a ceiling collapse.
Museum director Candace Midgett said grant structures have changed significantly in the past decade, which has resulted in less funding.
“If we apply for a grant now, there’s a really good chance that about two-thirds of that money is going to go right through our hands to things like material supplies and transport expenses, and with some grants that proportion is even higher," she said. "There’s very little left for our infrastructure.”