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Science Museum of Minnesota cutting staff by almost 40 percent

The museum estimates it's lost out on 245,000 visitors in the time it's been closed.

The Science Museum of Minnesota will reopen later this summer, but it’s also announcing a significant staff cut in the process.

The museum announced Tuesday that it will open with reduced operations, including cutting staff by 158 employees. Closed since mid-March, the museum estimates it lost 245,000 visitors in that time.

The museum has also been unable to conduct research, work on exhibits, collaborate with other institutions or hold its summer camp, resulting in around $10 million lost in total revenue.

Even with its reopening, attendance is estimated to sink by between 50 percent and 75 percent compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Over the entire fiscal year, revenue is likely to drop by $20 million.

“These incredibly difficult decisions reflect the challenges of moving forward as a cultural organization amid the uncertainty of COVID-19, and the entire museum community - its staff, volunteers, partners, and the people it serves throughout the state and around the nation - will feel these losses deeply,” a statement from the museum read.

Once the museum does open, hours of operations will be limited and some programs will be delayed or discontinued. But attractions including the dinosaurs, the mummy and big-screen movies will be open.

The Science Museum isn’t the only cultural institution to take a hit during COVID-19. The Minnesota Historic Society announced its second round of layoffs earlier this month. MHS has laid off 216 people who were employed in April.

But like the Science Museum, MHS is working to bring back visors to places like the Mill City Museum and the Minnesota History Center. 

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