Above: Walker Art Center/ Rock the Garden. (Photo: Courtney Pedroza, Star Tribune)
Walker Art Center announced layoffs of 33 part-time staff Tuesday in response to reductions in programming and hours resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The museum plans to reopen July 16 as part of a phased process, starting with its galleries.
In a message to employees, Executive Director Mary Ceruti said 15 part-time staff at the Walker gift shop and visitor services and 18 part-time gallery assistants would not return to the museum.
That leaves 18 part-timers and 115 full-time employees, who were left untouched by this round of layoffs.
“I know this is difficult news for everyone to hear and most difficult for those who will be leaving the Walker,” said Ceruti in a statement. “The reduction of our hours, programs and operations was determined through a complex process as we took in information from medical and public health experts, economists, staff, colleagues, artistic partners, and our audiences.”
The Walker anticipates a $5.7 million drop in revenue, which is equivalent to roughly one-fourth of its budget for fiscal year 2019.
The museum closed its doors March 13 for coronavirus-related safety reasons, but guaranteed pay for employees through May 30. It was able to pay staff through June 30 thanks to a federal Payroll Protection Program loan. To help balance the budget, Walker froze all salaries, and reduced its 403(b) pension contribution by 1%. Executive Director Mary Ceruti will take a 20% pay cut and senior leadership is shaving 10% off their salaries.