Check out today’s article about Brian Paco Alvarez in the Las Vegas Review Journal. 

Interesting that no mention is made of the fact that Brian is listed as the treasurer of the Liberace foundation. Nor that foundation has not filed new returns according to Foundation Finder since the 2009 tax year.  This last return was signed by Jack Rappaport and Brian is not listed as a member of the board on that filing. Unlike prior years‘ returns the form lists $143,000 in scholarships as an expense with no formal outline as to what institutions were paid directly.

Yet after the foundation was led by Jack Rappaport whom had no idea who Liberace was and was utterly unqualified to run the foundation have they set up an art advocate with apparently no experience in the day to day financial management of a non-profit institution to fail as treasurer?  Perhaps Brian has some accounting experience I am not aware of yet even to a well experienced bookkeeper the assets and expenses of the foundation in a volatile real estate market with fluctuating values for the collections is a daunting task for anyone.

I find this concerning as far as in past returns the funds never went to ANY students and instead went to an umbrella organization. Read: Liberace Foundation Gave $400K in grants to Nevada Communities Foundation. 

Seriously what is happening with the foundation? No one is talking………

One of the greatest lessons Liberace taught us all in his talent as a businessman is the art of self promotion. It is a tragic demonstration of the apathy of those placed in charge of his collections on this board that so little is done to continue his legacy.

Next February we have the 25th anniversary of Liberace’s passing. NOW is the time the foundation should be in plans to mark this remembrance in light of the success of the 10th and 20th anniversary performances. Someone should be lobbying LVCVA to dim the lights on the strip in honor of Lee for a moment (as they did for Sinatra) and yet again nothing. Historic opportunities passing again just as Lee does not work from beyond the grave nor did his museum participate in corporate sponsorship or has it built a broad spectrum of community based supporters like the thriving Ava Gardner museum.

Perhaps the museum is past being saved now that another anchor tenant Carluccios Tivoli gardens has now closed. Most have lost faith that it shall ever return. It will take a whole lot more chutzpah, imagination, and communication with the community at large than the folks at the helm today appear to have any interest in pursuing.

 

Afterword:

I had a lovely conversation with Paco about his passion not only for the Liberace Foundation but also for creating a vibrant arts community in the Las Vegas Valley. The foundation will always be near and dear to his heart as his first job, and he seeks to work with the board to create a bright new future honoring Lee’s legacy. If you have positive suggestions or wish to offer your support to the foundation you can reach him via their business address. There is so much work to be done to preserve the cultural legacy of Las Vegas with limited resources while dedicated community activists do their best right now to apply pressure and stop the bleeding where they can. 

 

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