Portland Children's Museum
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News Release
Portland Children's Museum Reduces Staff in Response to Coronavirus - 03/22/20

NEWS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PORTLAND, Ore. (March 22, 2020) — Portland Children’s Museum laid off 48 staff members and significantly reduced the hours of 22 additional employees in an attempt to keep the organization afloat during an unprecedented loss of attendance and revenue due to the coronavirus. As soon as the Museum can reopen doors and rebuild attendance, it will seek to rehire affected staff.

Since the beginning of March, attendance had all but disappeared for the beloved attraction, which will remain closed through at least April 28. On Saturday, the Board of Directors approved the layoffs and reduced operations in order to drastically cut costs. Staff were notified of these actions the same day. 

“Like other nonprofit institutions that are heavily dependent on attendance revenue, the impact of the coronavirus on the viability of Portland Children’s Museum has been sudden and severe,” said David Peterson, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We as a Board love this organization and are committed to its mission. Having to lay off dedicated employees is painful, but we are hopeful that this drastic action will best position Portland Children’s Museum to survive this crisis and reopen in the not too distant future.”

The majority of the 22 employees that will remain on staff with reduced hours are educators from the organization’s Opal School. Executive Director Ruth Shelly will also lead a three-person Core Business Continuation Team to guide the Museum through these challenging times.

"These are heartbreaking circumstances for our faithful employees and the families we serve," Shelly said. "However, Portland Children's Museum has a nearly 75-year legacy, and we will rebound from this crisis with the innovative problem-solving that is foundational to our learning approach."

The Museum will extend all current memberships by the length of time it remains closed so that families receive a full year of benefits. The organization will also offer online ideas for playful learning at home via social media and a weekly enewsletter.

Shelly said the Museum is counting on its dedicated donors to continue their support during this period of reduced operations. "By the time school resumes and families are able to get out of the house, we'll welcome that energy back with warm and open arms!"

For the most up-to-date information, please visit: portlandcm.org

About Portland Children’s Museum
Since 1946, Portland Children’s Museum has developed innovative problem-solvers through playful learning experiences that spark curiosity and creativity. Through our community of play, children and their grown-ups discover a world of hands-on experiences that foster a lifelong love of learning. Explore, make, and create in our 11 exhibits and three studios—including the new Sprout Spot for birth–three visitors and their caregivers!

LOCATION Washington Park across from Oregon Zoo; 4015 SW Canyon Road, Portland, 97221
HOURS 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
CLOSURE DATES March 14–April 28
CONTACT (503) 471.9901 | portlandcm.org
SOCIAL MEDIA Facebook: @PortlandCM | Twitter: @PortlandCM | IG: @portlandchildrensmuseum

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