SAN ANTONIO – Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between the San Antonio Business Journal and KSAT.
The Briscoe Western Art Museum has laid off eight staff members and eliminated three other vacant positions. It's also made other operation changes to offset the drop in business caused by Covid-19.
“As part of the museum’s cost-cutting measures across the board, we’ve been forced to reduce the hours the museum is open, as well as reduce the size of our team,” Briscoe Western Art Museum President and CEO Michael Duchemin said.
The downtown museum closed on March 16. It reopened in late May at 25% capacity, but a surge in Covid cases in Bexar County has continued to affect the city's visitor industry.
“When we reopened on May 23, we hoped to rebound. However, as our tourism industry continues to struggle in the face of reduced travel and visitation across the board, we’ve endured that same challenge,” Duchemin said. “With reduced visitation and canceled programming and facility rentals, it’s been impossible to overcome the funding loss that resulted from the closure.”
Museum leadership, which had contemplated other changes back in March to curb costs, has decided to narrow the attraction's operating hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.