Stockbridge, Mass. — April 10 — Norman Rockwell Museum (NRM) announced today staff furloughs, in addition to previous cost containment measures implemented to ensure sustainability of the Museum while it remains closed until government health guidance permits establishing a reopening date. The Museum applied for the stimulus payroll protection program but it is unknown at this time when funds will be received.
Effective April 12, 2020, NRM is expanding its financial mitigation strategies which will include furloughing 42 of its 65 staff members, and implementation of salary reductions for the remaining 18 full-time employees and 5 additional staff, who will work part-time to continue essential work that will sustain the Museum and position it to be ready to reopen. The Museum will be continuing full health care benefits for the enrolled furloughed employees and will assist furloughed staff members in connecting to additional benefits that may be available to them.
The Museum has compensated staff fully since closing its doors on March 13. The furlough period is expected to continue for up to four weeks, but will be reviewed weekly and could be longer. The Museum will revisit and revise its course of action in accordance with the evolving impacts of the pandemic.
“This is a heartbreaking decision. The health, safety, and well-being of our Museum staff and our community are first and foremost guiding our decisions. We are trying both to be of service to the public now and to protect the future. We are making decisions based on information known at this time and are avoiding speculating about the future, pending guidance from government officials and the availability of supplemental resources. I can tell you that we will reopen our doors and we will be here in the future,” said Director/CEO Laurie Norton Moffatt.
Norman Rockwell Museum was born out of Rockwell’s popular following. Its business model is built on a diversified portfolio of earned revenue sources from visitor admissions, museum store and café sales, traveling exhibitions, program fees, and essential contributions from individuals, foundations, and governmental agencies. With a small endowment portfolio, it is vulnerable under these extreme circumstances.
“Our NRM staff is a family, many of whom have dedicated decades of their lives to the Museum. “ Norton Moffatt continued. “This is the hardest decision we have ever had to make in our 50 year history. As the severity of this crisis has advanced, and the devastating impacts are mounting on non-profits and businesses everywhere, we are seeking a path forward that will minimize financial stress for our staff and sustain the Museum in the future. We are so grateful to all who have contributed additional funds to assist the Museum at this time.”
NRM will continue to provide and update The Virtual Museum as a community resource for teachers, families, and children who are home schooling, and people isolated in their homes. NRM.org