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VMFA laid off 32 staff members last week, reports $1 million in net losses due to museum's closure during the coronavirus
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VMFA laid off 32 staff members last week, reports $1 million in net losses due to museum's closure during the coronavirus

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Phase Three in Virginia started July 1. Here's what it looks like.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is getting to reopen its doors to the public on Saturday.

Like many businesses and venues around the state, the museum has been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus. The museum reports a gross revenue loss between $4 to $5 million due to the closure, with a net loss of approximately $1 million.

In April, 221 part-time wage staff members were furloughed while the museum was closed to the public. Although the museum is getting ready to reopen, it will reopen at 50% capacity in accordance with the governor’s guidelines. Last week, 32 part-time, hourly wage gallery associates were laid off.

“As with many museums around the country, [the] VMFA has also been affected by the pandemic. The safety requirements, mandated by the Commonwealth of Virginia, have greatly limited visitor capacity,” Jan Hatchette, a spokesperson for the museum, wrote via email.

The museum employs 792 full- and part-time, hourly wage employees.

Hatchette said that the museum hopes those eliminated positions will reopen in the future when the museum is able to return to full capacity.

“Employees who have been released are encouraged to reapply in the future, as the need increases and when the pandemic is not affecting visitation and operations. As a state institution, VMFA is required to repost all positions when they reopen and go through the rehiring process,” she wrote.

Other museums and cultural attractions around the state have had to make similar cuts and furloughs due to economic impact of the coronavirus.

Maymont recently laid off 14 full-time workers, roughly 25% of its staff, the Science Museum of Virginia furloughed many employees and the Children’s Museum of Richmond closed its Fredericksburg location.

ccurran@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6151

Twitter: @collcurran

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Colleen Curran covers arts and entertainment for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She writes the weekly column Top Five Weekend Events.

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