WENATCHEE — Bill Rietveldt stepped down as co-coordinator of Wenatchee First Fridays to focus on keeping the Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center running as it faces another hit to its budget next month.
“With just Brenda Abney (the museum’s director) and me as the only full-time staff left at the museum it has become increasingly difficult for me to keep up with my help at Wenatchee First Fridays,” Rietveldt wrote in an email announcing his departure earlier this month. The museum will continue to be a First Friday venue.
Since First Friday began a few years ago, Rietveldt and two artists, Kasey Koski and Karen Dawn Dean, have been the driving force behind coordinating and promoting the monthly arts walk. The group needs more volunteers, especially those with a background in graphic design or communication, Koski said. If interested, email email@example.com.
The museum may lose its bid next month for an additional $80,000 in city lodging tax dollars, which had been a source of funding in the past. Lodging Tax Advisory Committee recommended the city award the full $340,000 to a partnership between the Wenatchee Visitor’s Bureau and Chamber of Commerce. The City Council will vote on the recommendation Dec. 13. Burdened by Town Toyota Center debt, the city already cut about a quarter of the museum’s operating budget last summer.