The city of Boise has announced it is cutting funding for its local art museums after two big ones lost out to a single-source proposal.
Boise Art Museum, the largest of the two, lost $8.2 million, and the Lagrange Art Museum lost $4.8 million.
The city had previously budgeted $1.7 million for each of the art museums in 2016.
The announcement came at a press conference on Thursday at the Boise Art History Center.
The museum is still the largest art museum in the country, with around 8 million visitors a year, and is the first in the United States to be built entirely out of sustainable materials.
“I think this is a big, big, major loss,” said Mayor Dan Saltzman, who was joined by other city officials.
“We were one of the last major cities in the world to actually invest in this.
It’s just a loss.”
The loss is the result of a merger between two larger arts institutions in Idaho, according to a statement from the city.
Both institutions, the Boise Museum of Art and the Portland Art Museum have both seen their budgets decline by more than $100 million since 2016, according the statement.
Boise is the only city in the US to be the only one of its kind to be shut down by the state of Idaho.
“As we work to repair the damage to our communities from this merger, we will not hesitate to use all necessary steps to restore the city,” the city said in the statement, which did not specify what that meant.
“If Boise Arts Museum and Lagrange are not able to maintain their current levels of funding, then we will make the necessary changes to ensure their future viability.”
The city said it will continue to support the art museum and will work with the art center to ensure that it can continue to offer its exhibitions.
“The City of Boise, along with our partners, will work to support these great local art institutions, as we continue to rebuild our economies and jobs,” the statement said.