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VMFA Lays off 30 Employees Ahead of Reopening

vmfa building in the winter
The VMFA currently employs 792 full-time and part-time staff members. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts laid off over 30 employees one week before it is set to reopen. 

Thirty-two part-time gallery associates were let go on Tuesday, according to VMFA officials. Those employees are typically stationed in the galleries to assist guests, but new COVID-19 safety regulations will limit the number of visitors when the museum reopens. 

Jan Hatchette, the museum’s deputy director for communications, said, for that reason, the VMFA laid off gallery associates based on seniority.

“As with many museums around the country, VMFA has also been affected by the pandemic,” Hatchette said via email. “Employees who have been released are encouraged to reapply in the future, as the need increases and when the pandemic is not affecting visitation and operations.”

The VMFA currently employs 792 full-time and part-time staff members. Around 220 of the museum’s 561 part-time employees had already been furloughed since late April. 

The VMFA is expected to reopen to members on July 1 and the general public on July 4. Visitors will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing while inside the museum. Tickets to certain exhibitions will be limited.