In a move that signals serious financial trouble, the Museum of Latin American Art said it has recently laid off its chief curator and slashed its operating budget by nearly 15%.
The museum, which is based in Long Beach, said that the culprit was a downturn in financial support from individual donors in recent years.
Stuart Ashman, the museum's president and chief executive officer, said in an interview that the museum laid off its chief curator, Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, on Monday. The museum now has two full-time curators.
In total, MoLAA has eliminated 4-1/2 full-time positions while also moving certain people to lower-level positions to avoid further layoffs.
The museum said it has cut $600,000 in expenses, bringing its annual operating budget to just under $3.5 million.
Ashman said the cuts were necessary following the death in 2009 of the museum's founder, Dr. Robert Gumbiner, who donated significantly to the museum.