Hoping to show why Broward County should keep making financial accommodations to the troubled Young At Art(YAA), museum officials will claim to be one of the area’s top economic engines. A museum insider provided REDBROWARD with the YAA gameplan to combat the controversies and negative press surrounding the taxpayer-funded children’s museum in Davie.
Written in 2015, the YAA playbook was prepared to combat the report from independent consultant Louise Stevens of Artsmarket. Stevens’ report focused on financial problems as well as the controversial Bedlam Lorenz Assembly (BLA) program operated by curator Zack Spechler, the son of YAA CEO Mindy Shrago. The playbook makes no mention of recent controversies exposed by REDBROWARD such as nudity, pornography and topless women.
According to the YAA playbook, “Young At Art provides over $1,500,000.00 Total Economic Benefit to Broward County.” How does YAA come up with this shocking number? It uses a convoluted cost/benefit formula from “American for the Arts.” The playbook states, “[YAA] is an economic driver, supporting jobs and generating government revenue.”
The playbook claims YAA is responsible for $8,737,704 total expenditures in Broward. YAA claims it’s responsible for 256.8 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in Broward. YAA claims it generated “559 documented hotel nights at 11 Broward hotels in 2014/15.”
Seriously? Tourists stayed overnight in Broward 559 times to visit the Young At Art museum off 595 in Davie? If you believe that, we will build you a children’s museum, oh wait….
Let’s hope Mindy Shrago and YAA Chairman David Di Pietro have better answers when they appear before the Broward County Commission on Tuesday.
Broward taxpayers deserve real answers.