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Letter: Museum takes steps to weather storm

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To the Editor:

Dear friends, when I began my tenure as executive director here at Bennington Museum just a few months ago, I could not have fathomed the unexpected tumultuous times ahead. But perhaps because of this, I have had the opportunity to witness the unshakable strength, good humor, and generosity of the people in this community. It is an honor to call Bennington, and Southwest Vermont, my home as we work to get through this crisis together.

On Friday, after careful and thorough review, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved measures to protect the future of Bennington Museum and its ability to serve the community. These measures include closing the Museum until July 1st, reducing staff to a bare minimum, and cutting every reasonable expense as we strive to maintain utmost fiscal responsibility. We have also been keeping a close eye on Federal and State legislative measures, particularly regarding unemployment compensation and Federal financial assistance, in order to best assist our laid-off employees and support our operations moving forward.

Over the next several months, the board and core team will work to strategically map out our future, and prepare to emerge from these uncertain times ready to engage with our community once more. Our goal is simple: position the Museum to serve the needs of the community. We need your suggestions and input. Send us your ideas, your thoughts, or your critiques at ideas@benningtonmuseum.org. All of your feedback is welcomed.

While the current crisis poses unprecedented challenges, we are confident that, with your help, we can weather the storm. Send us an encouraging message, share and like us on Facebook and Instagram, select us as a charity when you use AmazonSmile or PayPal, and if you are able, become a member or make a financial contribution. Your support is important now more than ever to ensure the Museum continues to thrive as a community resource and remain a central part of our region's cultural heritage for years to come. Thank you.

Bennington Museum has long been a focal point of community pride, celebrating the culture of our region through engaging exhibitions, robust educational programming, entertaining concerts, and, in true Vermont style, by connecting visitors with the beautiful 10-acre park just outside our doors. Our work will continue through this crisis and beyond.

We miss you and can't wait to see you all again soon. Until then, stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong.

Joshua Torrance,

Bennington

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