The community needs to put its indignation over the attempted renaming of the Franco Center to rest and consider the facts.

Rebranding usually happens because businesses need to bolster their relevance within a market to increase revenue. Moving forward with this type of effort comes after a significant amount of consideration, and the implementation is a huge amount of work.

To think that the board came to this choice without considering the mission of the organization is pure folly. More likely the board’s passion and commitment to ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of the center led its members to make a difficult decision. In fact, they said as much, but that message was lost amidst the outcry.

A look at the 990 tax filing for 2018 (the most recent), posted on the organization’s website, shows that the center relies on contributions for 44% of its annual income. It is important to note that these are pre-pandemic numbers. Things have changed considerably for cultural institutions, which by and large, have not fully recovered from the shutdown.

If people truly care about the Franco Center being a beacon for our heritage, especially those who spoke out with such anger, then it is time for them to put action to words and contribute. “I supported them when they were renovating and getting started” and “I buy tickets” doesn’t cut it.

The center needs our consistent annual charitable support, or it will cease to exist — no matter what people call it.

Amy Morin, Lewiston

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