Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Walker Art Center confirms budget cutback, layoffs

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This just in from Minneapolis: In response to a query from MAN, the Walker Art Center announced it is making its first layoffs as a result of the recent economic downturn. The museum released the following statement:

In response to the current economic climate and with the intent of responsibly managing its budget, the Walker Art Center will reduce its operating budget by 8% in the upcoming fiscal year (from $19.1 million in the current year to $17.6 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011). As with many not-for-profit organizations locally and across the country, the Walker’s endowment, earned income, and charitable contributions remain flat or have experienced a decline.

The budget reduction was guided by the Walker’s new strategic plan. Walker director Olga Viso noted that “The Walker will continue to provide a robust, ambitious, and innovative level of programming that highlights new partnerships across the institution. We will continue to advance the Walker’s artistic mission and serve our community even following these reductions.” The Walker has a tradition of sound fiscal management with 28 consecutive years of balanced budgets and a long-term approach to managing its budget. This fiscally responsible reduction will allow the Walker to manage its resources for the foreseeable future.

Note:

  • Nine positions have been eliminated (6 percent of total workforce; 9 of 163).
  • The Walker did not lay off staff members over the previous two years of the financial crisis.
  • For the third consecutive fiscal year, Walker director Olga Viso will give back a percentage of her salary and benefits. She will give back 10 percent in the upcoming fiscal year (up from 7 percent).
  • Three senior management staff members will give back 3 percent of their salary in the upcoming fiscal year.
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