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MASS MoCA, Clearwater announce lay offs

Mar 30, 2020 7:30 am
Wendy Liberatore is reporting for the Times Union Mass MoCA, the contemporary art museum located in North Adams, Mass., announced March 28, it will lay off 120 of its 165 employees, effective April 11. After that date, a small staff will work reduced hours to maintain and secure the site, raise money and come up with a plan for the organization’s relaunch. “The COVID-19 contagion strikes at the very heart of our mission, which is to gather together large numbers of people around acts of creativity,” Director Joseph Thompson said in a statement. “...We are also aware of the role that MASS MoCA’s operations and programs play within the local and regional economy, and we will do everything within our power to re-launch at the soonest possible instant, following guidance from public health officials.” On March 7, MASS MoCA canceled or postponed all scheduled performances. It closed its galleries to the public on March 15. Also, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater is laying off more than half of its staff, according to a report in the Daily Freeman. The reduction includes much of the sloop's crew and several office staff. "The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has shaken Clearwater’s fragile financial situation beyond our means, and with no classroom programs, events, or sailing season, Clearwater may be faced with closure," the group said in a news release. "To try and fend off that scenario, we are drastically reducing our operations immediately." Remaining staff will focus on maintaining the sloop, membership and pursuing options for "financial relief and stabilization." The Clearwater's winter quarters are located adjacent to the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, where repairs are made.
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