Employees at Experience Music Project might be singing the blues right about now.
On Thursday, 129 full- and part-time workers—more than one-third of EMP's staff members—were given pink slips in the latest round of layoffs to hit the rock 'n' roll museum founded by Paul Allen.
EMP, a radical, 140,000-square-foot facility designed by Frank Gehry, opened with much fanfare in June 2000 at a cost of $240 million. The opening, which included performances by Metallica, Dr. Dre, Eminem and Taj Mahal, attracted national attention, as did the collection of iconic rock artifacts. But the museum has struggled to control costs. Last February, 46 workers were let go, on top of 124 staffers laid off the year before. Thursday's layoffs leave 214 employees.
Those laid off this time include full- and part-time employees in all departments, though most are administrative positions, said museum spokeswoman Paige Prill. The cuts in staff positions were necessary, Prill said, as part of the museum's overall aim to run more efficiently without compromising exhibits and educational programs.
I haven't been to the EMP yet. The article says they aren't planning to close it, "even if only temporarily," but I wonder if I should make an effort to get down there just in case....