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Walker Art Center trims staff to balance budget

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The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis laid off eight employees Friday in an effort to balance the contemporary art museum's budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, the Star Tribune reports.

Walker director Olga Viso announced the job cuts at a staff meeting. The Star Tribune says the staff has been reduced from 148 to 140 people, or roughly five percent of its work force.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the cuts amounted to about $500,000, or 3 percent of the Walker's operation budget for the year -- which is about $18.5 million.

Walker spokesperson Ryan French said while he couldn't discuss specifics, cuts were made "across a number of program and support functions."

The layoffs come two years after the Walker had to layoff nine staff members to balance its budget.

Viso reportedly took a 10 percent salary and benefit cut during the 2010 budget cuts, and three senior members lost 3 percent of their salaries. Other staff members were subject to freezes in salaries and benefits.

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