The Minneapolis Institute of Art announced staff cuts of nearly 16% Monday in response to a revenue drop resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of its 250 employees, 17 took a voluntary buyout while 22 more were laid off. Mia’s leadership team had already taken a 15% salary cut, effective March 13, while pay was frozen for other nonunion staff.
“Few decisions are harder than one that involves reducing our dedicated staff,” Mia President Katie Luber said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened by this very difficult situation.”
Anticipating a substantial decline in revenue for the fiscal year that begins July 1, the museum has cut its projected operating budget from $34 million to $30 million. While Mia has been closed since mid-March, it was able to pay staff through June 19 thanks to a federal Payroll Protection Program loan. The museum plans to reopen July 16 but at nearly half the hours of its normal schedule.
“Mia is taking unfortunate but necessary steps to guide the museum through this period of economic uncertainty,” said David Wilson, chairman of Mia’s board of trustees.
Last week, some of the museum’s employees and supporters circulated a Change.org petition calling on Mia’s leadership to take deeper pay cuts to avoid staff reductions.
Luber started her job in January at a salary of $500,000. She said Mia’s board and leadership team had “pursued numerous options to save as many staff as possible. ... We have also carefully evaluated whether there are untapped sources of revenue or new fundraising opportunities that could help alleviate the need for further cuts, but this has not been possible.”