Blaming financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts said Friday that it has eliminated 20 staff positions and taken other cost-cutting measures.
The job reductions have come in the last two weeks from layoffs and not filling vacated positions, the institution said in a news release.
Come Monday, nearly 60% of PAFA’s regular workforce will have been affected by job cuts, reduced salaries and work hours, and reduced teaching assignments, the institution said.
The museum at PAFA was closed to the public March 14 and classes at the School of Fine Arts were shifted to online-only for the remainder of the spring academic term.
A combination of a loan from the federal Paycheck Protection Program for coronavirus relief and fund-raising was used to maintain staffing levels from mid-March through early July, PAFA said.
The museum is scheduled to reopen Sept. 12 with public-health protocols in place, and the fall academic term will resume with a hybrid instruction plan.
PAFA president and CEO David R. Brigham said in a statement Friday:
“When we closed our doors in mid-March, we hoped that the pause would be brief and the negative financial impacts containable. Unfortunately, as the public health crisis deepens, we must accept the reality that COVID-19 has forced us to fundamentally rethink the ways in which we operate as a museum and school of the fine arts while prioritizing our collective health and well-being.
"With this has come the enormously painful process of staff cutbacks across the PAFA community. This step was not taken lightly. Each and every member of the PAFA faculty and staff has made innumerable contributions to this community, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.