Mpls. Institute of Arts Cuts 10 to Balance Budget

The layoffs, which include the associate curator of paintings, were necessary in order to cut $1.4 million from the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins June 30.

In order to balance its budget this year and reduce expenses for the upcoming fiscal year, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) has cut 10 positions from its staff.

The now 242-person organization is trimming $1.4 million from its budget for the fiscal year that begins on June 30-bringing the budget to $24.8 million, up slightly from $24.6 million this year, according to Anne-Marie Wagener, director of press and public relations.

The layoffs took place earlier this month. Among those cut were Associate Curator of Paintings Sue Canterbury and Membership Director Ann Benrud-along with Benrud's assistant.

Other positions that were eliminated were in government and community affairs, public programs, office services, and guard services.

“The museum is fortunate to have a highly capable staff, which makes any decision regarding jobs a difficult one,” MIA Director and President Kaywin Feldman said in a statement. “However, in order to maintain our high level of public service through exhibitions, collections, educational and community initiatives, and to continue to offer free admission, it is important that the museum plan for the future and maintain a balanced budget.”

The museum's costs have risen amid the recession as revenue has remained flat, Wagener said.

The museum's three major funding sources are donors, endowment income, and the “park-museum fund,” a Hennepin County tax that's distributed in exchange for free museum admission. Endowment income is expected to total $4.3 million in fiscal 2012, roughly the same as this year.The “park-museum fund” provided about $12 million during the last calendar year; if tax revenues decreased in the future, it would pose challenges for the museum.

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