Jobs cut, hours reduced at Fresno Art Museum

Fresno's "other" museum is facing tough times, too. The Fresno Art Museum this week is cutting its budget by a third, laying off a still undetermined number of its 15 employees and declaring furloughs for those who remain. The museum also is reducing the number of days it will be open.

Interim executive director Eva Torres said the museum had to cut $400,000 from its $1.2 million budget this fiscal year, which started July 1. The museum's business offices, which had been open Mondays - Fridays, are now closed Mondays and Tuesdays. The exhibitions, which had been open to the public Tuesdays-Sundays, will now be open Wednesdays-Sundays.

While the community's attention has been focused in recent months on the Fresno Metropolitan Museum and its inability to repay a city-backed $15 million loan on its downtown building, the Fresno Art Museum has struggled with the same bad economy that has hammered nonprofits across the country.

"We hope this is temporary, but it will depend on the support we receive from the public," Torres said. "If there ever was a time for the community to step up, this is it."

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