In a developing story from Kentucky, the Creation Museum is running out of money due to declining attendance, bringing their “Ark Encounter” project to a stand-still because of a lack of funding.
Interestingly, the reason for the slowing traffic seems to be creationism itself, since the main exhibit has literally not changed in 5 years. Most museums’ exhibits change as new discoveries are made, as artifacts travel from other museums to visit, or as adjustments in scientific thinking are made.
Another reason could be the demographic that creationism’s proponents target.
Mark Joseph Stern from Slate.com writes:
A spectacle like the Creation Museum has a pretty limited audience. Sure, 46 percent of Americans profess to believe in creationism, but how many are enthusiastic enough to venture to Kentucky to spend nearly $30 to see a diorama of a little boy palling around with a vegetarian dinosaur? The museum’s target demographic may not be eager to lay down that much money: Belief in creationism correlates to less education, and less education correlates to lower income.
In hopes to draw repeat customers, the museum has added zip-lining and sky bridge courses to their attractions this summer. But when confronted by critics who wonder what the zip-lining and sky bridge attractions have to do with the museum’s message, Mike Zovath, the museums co-founder and vice president, says that the extra activities are irrelevant.
“No matter what exhibit we add, the message stays the same,” Zovath said. “It’s all about God’s word and the authority of God’s word and showing that all of these things, whether it’s bugs, dinosaurs or dragons — it all fits with God’s word.”
In their opening year, the Creation Museum garnered around 400,000 visitors, but that number steadily decreased in the following two years, with just over 254,000 visitors showing up this last year.
Watch WCPO’s Channel 9 report on the Creation Museum in the video below.