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One-third of US museums risk closure due to COVID

One-third of US museums risk closure due to COVID
Posted at 4:59 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 00:20:26-04

Nearly one-third of all US museums say they risk closing in the next 16 months if they do not receive extra funding, according to a survey conducted by the American Alliance of Museums.

Of those who say they’re at risk of closing, half felt their organization was at a significant risk of permanent closure. The vast majority, 87% the survey found, said they don’t have enough reserve funds to cover one year of operations. More than half do not have enough reserve funds to cover six months of expenses.

Although most museums had to close during the initial spread of the virus in March and April, 75% of the museums surveyed said they offered educational resources for families and educators.

“Museum revenue disappeared overnight when the pandemic closed all cultural institutions, and sadly, many will never recover,” said Laura Lott, President & CEO of AAM. “Even with a partial reopening in the coming months, costs will outweigh revenue and there is no financial safety net for many museums. The distress museums are facing will not happen in isolation. The permanent closure of 12,000 museums will be devastating for communities, economies, education systems, and our cultural history.”