Monday, April 27, 2009

Gardner Museum lays off 12

Boston's Isabella Steward Gardner Museum announced Friday that it was laying off 12 people as part of cost-cutting measures it said it had to take in response to the global financial crisis. Director Anne Hawley said in a prepared statement:
"The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is not immune to the profound effects of the worldwide financial crisis. From July 2008 to February 2009, the museum endowment declined approximately 29% and while we have continued to raise significant funds from our generous donors, income from the endowment accounts for 40% of our operating revenue.

In response to this challenge, and to manage prudently during this difficult period, the museum has reduced its operating budget for FY09 by 7% and we further reduced our FY10 operating budget by an additional 11% to $10.4 million.

To accomplish these changes, the museum has undertaken a strategic review of all operating expenses with reductions made across the board including printing, mailing, staff travel, and other general expenses. In addition, we have implemented a hiring freeze, cut all senior staff salaries by 5%, and frozen the salaries of all other employees at current levels. Unfortunately these cutbacks alone were insufficient to close the entire gap. Ultimately we made the wrenching decision to reduce the museum’s staff of 140 employees by 12 positions (9%). Four areas of the museum have been affected: administration, development, conservation, and curatorial.

As a result of these unfortunate but necessary measures, the current economic conditions will not change the visitor experience. There will be no changes to admission prices, hours of operation, or major programming."


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