PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With no end in sight to the coronavirus pandemic, the Please Touch Museum is making more cuts. The museum announced Friday it will remain closed until at least next year.
There’s a pause on playing, at least at the Please Touch Museum. Due to public health concerns, plus the fact the upcoming school year will be mostly virtual, the board made the decision to keep the doors closed until 2021.
“We really are a family,” Patricia Wellenbach, the museum’s president and CEO, said.
But that family has been dismantled. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 75% of its staff had to be let go. They’re now at 18 employees that work on a modified scheduled and reduced salary.
“Because we have this shared mission and sets of values around children and supporting children in their earliest years of learning and development, we are a family and it was very difficult,” Wellenbach said. “The board labored over the decision for several meetings.”
Having lost $4 million in revenue since March, the museum is also cutting back on expenses. Luckily, grant funding allowed for construction crews to continue developing two exhibit areas and maintain the grounds.
“We won’t be bringing in revenue but we have implemented extensive cost reductions in the operating model and we have created an operating model that will cost us about $200,000 a month. Normally, we run at about $700,000 a month. We’ve taken drastic cuts through everything we do. Still protecting and preserving the building, the legacy of Memorial Hall and with an eye toward a reopen when we can continue with our mission to support children in the earliest years in their emotional and social development.”
Memberships, as of March 2020, to the Please Touch Museum remained frozen with no time lost. Once the membership freeze is eventually lifted, members will not have to take any action, the museum said.