The National Building Museum has decided to lay off more than 40 members of its staff, leaving only 20 employees on the job due to financial troubles stemming from the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.
The museum confirmed the decision that will take effect by the beginning of next month in an emailed statement to DCist.
“The challenge was a difficult one: balancing the need to retain sufficient financial resources for reopening against the need to have adequate staff on board in order to reopen. Every scenario required a substantial reduction in force, along with an adjustment to the museum’s scope of work,” the statement said.
The museum recently furloughed a large number of its staff after the coronavirus pandemic hit businesses and prompted the closure of it until further notice.
What do National Building Museum staff love about the institution? We're sharing videos as part of the #NBMResilienceCampaign. Meet Nancy Bateman, Registrar. She manages our vast collection of artifacts.
— National Building Museum (@BuildingMuseum) May 21, 2020
In the meantime, an exclusively online new exhibition has been available on the museum’s website as an alternative to physical visits.
Titled “Documenting Crossroads: The Coronavirus in Poor, Minority Communities,” the online exhibition features photographs depicting how the deadly global pandemic affected the lives of impoverished and segregated communities.
As part of the project, Camilo José Vergara spent four weeks photographing people in Oakland and Richmond, CA; Newark, NJ; Harlem, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, NY; along with “the busy metropolitan New York City crossroads and transportation centers” between March 8 and April 4, 2020.