Coverage by the Willamette Week
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the city, the museum saw a substantial drop in its already low public funding.
By Shannon Gormley | Published March 19 at 3:57 PM
Less than a week after it was declared a pandemic, COVID-19 has destabilized many of the country’s most prominent arts organizations—even the Met has taken a major hit.
Now, one of Portland’s largest arts organizations has issued a cry for help.
This week, the Portland Art Museum requested emergency relief funding from Oregon’s coronavirus response special committee.
“We are unable to sustain a $1 million loss for long,” Brian Ferriso, the museum’s president, writes in the request. “It will have reverberating consequences for arts and culture in Oregon.”
The museum is requesting at least $800,000 in emergency funds to cover monthly payroll for the institution’s 257 employees.
Even before the pandemic shut down much of the city, the museum was grappling with financial uncertainty. Along with Portland’s other biggest cultural hubs, the museum recently saw a substantial drop in its already low public funding.