MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Walker Art Center says more than 30 of its part-time workers will be laid off next month ahead of the museum’s reopening.

In a letter to employees Tuesday, Mary Ceruti, the museum’s executive director, said that the Walker is planning to reopen on July 16 with changes in operation and reduced programming, according to a statement from the museum.

Due to the changes, the museum will not have enough shifts to maintain current staffing, the Walker says. As a result, 15 part-time workers in the gift shop and customer services will be laid off, as well as 18 part-time gallery assistants.

“I know this is difficult news for everyone to hear and most difficult for those who will be leaving the Walker,” Ceruti said, according to the statement. “The reduction of our hours, programs and operations was determined through a complex process as we took in information from medical and public health experts, economists, staff, colleagues, artistic partners, and our audiences.”

The museum says it expects to sustain a $5.7 million drop in revenue this year, equivalent to a quarter of its operating budget for 2019. To address the economic impact, the Walker is freezing all salaries and reducing pension contributions by 1%. Ceruti will be taking a 20% pay cut and senior officials will see their pay reduced by 10%.

The museum closed due to the coronavirus on March 13. The museum says it’s been able to pay employees, including part-time workers, since then through funds provided by the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

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