Friday, June 19, 2009 | 3:39 p.m.
CARSON CITY – The state museums, going through a tough period, have taken time out to honor Dema Guinn, the wife of former Gov. Kenny Guinn, who supported and raised money for the system.
A concourse costing several million dollars connecting the two museum buildings in Carson City was named after Dema Guinn who said she was “so proud to be a part of history.”
Michael Fischer, director of the state Department of Cultural Affairs, said Dema Guinn and her husband raised more than $460,000. And she hosted such events at the governor’s mansion as the Tin Cup Tea that produced money for the museum.
About 100 people showed up for the event to honor Dema Guinn, including Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell and Mayor Bob Crowell.
Fischer said the state’s museums have been hit especially hard by budget cuts.
Instead of being open seven days a week, the seven museums statewide will operate Wednesday through Saturday starting July 6. The agency had 83 employees at the beginning of the Legislature and it is now down to 60, said Peter Barton, administrator of the Division of Museums and History.
James Barmore, museum director, said Mrs. Guinn “helped us through the hard times” in the past and “helped sustain the museum and save the staff.”
He called the Carson City facility “one of the finest mid-sized museums in the nation.”
The connecting enclosed concourse will be used for receptions and rented out to raise money, he said.