Ben Mitchell, the senior curator of art at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC), was laid off this week.
The museum had to make a five percent budget cut, after it barely escaped closure when the state budget was finalized.
One other position, was also cut, in the collections department, but I could not get confirmation of a name.
With staffing already cut to the bone — the museum's staffing was already down 40 percent over the last two years — finding any positions to cut was agonizing, according to Rebecca Bishop, the museum's marketing and communications director.
It came down to the fact that the museum felt it had “backup” in the area of art — other staffers who can step in to do art exhibits. But don't expect to see as many art exhibits in the future.
Will the MAC be able to do exhibits of the caliber and scope of the Timothy Ely exhibit, the Ruben Trejo exhibit and the Harold Balazs exhibit, just to name three examples of Mitchell's exceptional work?
I'd say it's doubtful. Right now, we don't even know if the museum will even have the position of art curator.
I'll try to find more information next week. If anybody has any insight, please weigh in.