In response to an inquiry from MAN, the Art Institute of Chicago acknowledges that it is reducing staff for the second time in the last year. (The AIC made these cuts last June.) Here’s a statement released by the museum (Details below):
The Art Institute of Chicago continues to face a budget shortfall for fiscal year 2010 due to endowment losses sustained during these challenging economic times. It will be implementing further cost-cutting measures throughout 2010, including continued salary freezes, staff reductions in a number of different areas including retail operations and physical plant, and the outsourcing of security positions. The museum remains focused on its core mission of the preservation and presentation of its collection and the offering of museum education programs for the benefit of Chicagoans and visitors worldwide. The Art Institute is confident that the steps being taken to ensure continued financial viability will not affect the exhibitions, programs, and experience of the museum.
AIC spokesperson Erin Hogan tells MAN that the cuts are only at the museum and not at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Fifteen people will be laid off, mostly in retail operations and in the physical plant. The museum will layoff staff from and restructure its education department and it will outsource 50 security positions. “We’re trying to make up $10 million for next year,” Hogan emailed. “Admissions are up but not enough to make up for the endowment loss, which we rely on for meeting the operating budget.”