Keep Art Alive: Protect the YAM from Drastic Budget Cuts

Yellowstone county commissioners eliminate $100,000 in art museum funding. These abrupt cuts threaten Art Education, Jobs, and Museum Accessibility.

We are grateful for the many years of continued partnership and support from the Yellowstone County Commissioners. Their past commitments to the YAM have made the arts accessible to countless schoolchildren and adults in Yellowstone County.

Therefore, the museum was shocked when we received a letter dated May 28, 2024, announcing that the Yellowstone County Commissioners are cutting a total of $100,000 in funds to the YAM with only 30 days’ notice.

Act Now!

Email Your County Commissioners

Before June 26, share how important art is for Yellowstone County and ask that they NOT cut funding to the museum.


Donald Jones, 

John Ostlund, 

Mark Morse,

Write A Letter to the Editor

Email each news outlet below individually and include “Letter to the Editor” in your subject line.


Billings Gazette 

Online submission | Email: 

Yellowstone County News:

Laurel Outlook:

Read the full press release.

Press images

Support the YAM Today

To help offset this dramatic cut in funding from Yellowstone County, make a gift today to keep the arts accessible to all! We thank you for your support and commitment to the museum.

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Share your comment!

Tell our Yellowstone County Commissioners NOT to cut funding to the Yellowstone Art Museum.

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The YAM Impact

YAM Visitation and Educational Outreach in Yellowstone County

In October 2023, the YAM celebrated a major gift from the Art Bridges Foundation and invested in free museum admission for all visitors to increase access and reduce barriers to the arts. Since this change, the YAM has seen a 340% increase in museum visitors in the past 8 months, a direct indicator of the community’s interest in the arts.


YAM will welcome 25,000 visitors in 2024

  • 73% of the total visitors in 2023 were from Yellowstone County
  • 92% of the Montana visitors in 2023 were from Yellowstone County


YAM Education Programs

  • YAM art education programs served 8,974 learners from June 2023 – May 2024
  • 7,390 of these student contacts were from Yellowstone County (82%)


YAM Largest Museum Employer in Yellowstone County

  • YAM employs 17 full-time and 9 part-time staff members who reside in Yellowstone County.
    Each job the museum sector creates generates $16,495 in additional tax revenue (Oxford Economics, 2018 report, “Museums as Economic Engines).


YAM Maintenance and Care Expenses for Historic County Building

  • In 1964, Yellowstone County generously donated the county jail building to the Yellowstone Arts Center. Originally constructed in 1884, the YAM bears the financial responsibility for significant annual maintenance and repair costs to preserve this historic building.