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Portland Museum of Art lays off staff amid decreased attendance

The Portland Museum of Art
Maine Public
The Portland Museum of Art

The Portland Museum of Art is laying off 13 employees, citing financial challenges that began during the pandemic.

The museum said the pandemic upended its operations and since 2020 it has experienced a 35% decrease in attendance.

According to its website, the PMA qualified for Employee Retention Credits and the Paycheck Protection Program, which allowed it to maintain staffing and programming during the pandemic but it said those supports are about to expire.

The Museum reported that wages and benefits represent nearly 70% of its operating budget and the cuts were necessary to remain viable.

The 13 positions affected include salaried managers and employees, both full-time and hourly.

The PMA is in the midst of a capital campaign to raise 100 million dollars for an expansion of its Congress Square campus, calling its facilities inadequate and dated.

Museum staff declined to be interviewed and trustees did not return our calls prior to air time.