The San Francisco Museum of Modern art quietly announced the layoff of seven staff members on Nov. 10 via a “Letter to the Community” signed by museum director Chris Bedford. Further cuts include 13 open positions that will not be refilled.
The letter, posted to the museum’s press page on Friday, was also sent as an email to SFMOMA staff. In it, Bedford explained that the museum’s visitorship still has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Attendance for fiscal year 2023 was about 65% of 2019 attendance, “mirroring reduced foot traffic in San Francisco’s Downtown Core and our city’s broader economic issues,” Bedford wrote.
Unlike previous staff and program cuts, Friday’s layoffs came as a surprise and were effective immediately, according to a source inside the museum. Bedford’s letter said SFMOMA is making changes that are “part of an ongoing holistic approach that embraces both revenue-generating and cost-saving measures.”