North Carolina State Budget Causes Concerns for Tryon Palace

RALEIGH, NC July 9, 2014 – Uncertainty clouds North Carolina’s first state capitol. Negotiations are underway between the House and the Senate for funding of Tryon Palace and the North Carolina History Center. Senate budget leaders did not include adequate funding for Tryon Palace relative to the House and Governor’s versions. Specifically, the House budget included an allocation of $400,000 to the $100,000 previously budgeted for Tryon Palace, the minimum needed to keep the Palace and the complex open to the public at current service levels. The Governor’s proposed budget gave Tryon Palace $520,000.

Tryon Palace - New Bern, NC

Tryon Palace – New Bern, NC

“Tryon Palace is truly one of North Carolina’s gems that helps preserve and present a significant part of our state’s history to a wide range of people from school children to tourists from all over the world,” said Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR). “If we are forced to reduce its hours, staffing and programming even further, the economic and cultural ramifications will be significant and felt throughout the region.”

Tryon Palace is one of North Carolina’s most significant historic sites. It is the home of the Governor’s Palace, North Carolina’s first state capitol, and includes historic buildings, gardens and the North Carolina History Center, which revolutionizes the visitor experience through use of the latest interactive  technology. The History Center includes galleries, a performance hall, the museum store and a waterfront café. Tryon Palace’s mission is to engage present and future generations in the history of North Carolina from early settlement in 1710, the development of statehood and into the mid-20th century. It is dedicated to collecting, interpreting and preserving objects, buildings, landscapes and events that enrich understanding of the making of North Carolina and the nation.

“Since 2010, Tryon Palace has faced 40 percent in reduced support from the state,” said Dr. Kevin Cherry, Deputy Secretary of NCDCR and Director of the Office of History and Archives. “This includes a loss of half of their positions. The Palace is one of the premier public history institutions in the state with the palace and gardens, surrounding historic structures and the new North Carolina History Center.”

“The good news is that the department, site leadership and Palace Foundation have increased private support to 47 percent of their budget,” added Kluttz. “Visitation has increased by 35 percent in May 2014 compared to May 2013, volunteer involvement has increased by 67 percent in the last two years and earned income has increased $100,000 per year since 2012.  We, as a team, are making great strides in increasing private funding, but Tryon Palace still needs continued support from the state.”

Other accomplishments made include a partnership with North Carolina State University to review ways to adjust mechanical systems in order to save more energy and reduce utility costs. In addition, the Tryon Palace Foundation owns two historic homes. One has been sold and the other is for sale. Funding from the sales will support Tryon Palace.

“Tryon Palace is an economic engine to the surrounding community and has tremendous local support,” added Kluttz. “I am grateful to Governor McCrory for recognizing the urgency of this need and including adequate funding in his proposed budget. It is imperative that the Legislature do the same to insure that this historic site remains viable.”

About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources 
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR’s mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella. 
 
Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state’s communities. NCDCR’s Divisions of Archives and Records, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR’s State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for people who are blind and have physical disabilities.  
 
NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state’s creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.
Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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