FAST FIVE: A Third Of US Museums "Not Confident" They Will Survive
The survey results were troubling, at least a third of directors of 760 museums reported a “significant risk” of closing permanently within 16 months.
The survey results document extreme financial distress in the museum field.
The vast majority (87%) of museums have only 12 months or less of financial operating reserves remaining, with 56% having less than six months left to cover operations.
– the survey said AAM President and CEO Laura Lott told NPR, “there's a large public perception that museums rely on government support when the reality is they get only a quarter of their funding from the government.” AAM stats show US museums receive about 850 million visits per year. However, this year, because of the virus pandemic and strict social distancing rules, those numbers will dramatically be reduced, resulting in the lower ticket, gift shop, and food sales. Of the 760 museums surveyed, 40% were history museums, historic houses, and historical societies.
AAM said museums support “726,000 direct and indirect jobs and contribute $50 billion each year to the economy,” adding that “over 40% plan to reduce staff and will need to spend additional funds to ensure their ability to reopen safely.” To sum up, the great museum bust is dead ahead.