Saturday, July 11, 2009

RISD: "Closing the Museum for the Month of August"

The Providence Journal reported today that regardless of its popularity and due to economic pressures, the Rhode Island School of Design museum will be closing for the month of August.

In May, for example, school officials announced plans to cut up to 30 staff positions, mainly by eliminating unfilled jobs and offering early-retirement incentives to older workers. At the same time, the union representing RISD’s full time faculty voted to accept a self-imposed wage freeze. The museum’s cost-cutting has been, if anything, even more dramatic.

According to Alswang, six museum employees opted for early retirement, while eight others were lost to “involuntary layoffs.” (Citing school privacy rules, Alswang declined to give names or job titles for either group, although at least one curatorial employee ... was among those laid off.) In addition, the museum hopes to save money by mounting fewer large exhibitions and by extending gallery displays of the museum’s permanent collection.

But it’s another cost-saving move — closing the museum for the month of August.

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