July 31, 2020

Press Release

Museum of the Bible makes difficult decision to temporarily furlough part of staff

WASHINGTON — This week, Museum of the Bible made the difficult decision to furlough 21% of its workforce positions in response to pandemic-related attendance challenges. During the 90-day furlough period, the museum will continue healthcare coverage for each furloughed employee.

“After much analysis and deep consideration, we made this hard decision given the currently unfavorable tourism and travel environment in Washington, DC," said Harry Hargrave, CEO of Museum of the Bible. “Last spring, we were grateful to receive a PPP loan when the museum had to stay closed for more than three months, taking in no other revenue. We appreciate the Democrats and Republicans in Congress who voted to provide this support to institutions like Museum of the Bible. The relief package enabled us to continue to pay all employees during the closure. Unfortunately, since reopening and the end of the PPP loan, we have not seen attendance numbers that allow the museum to sustain current operations at full staff."

The majority of the furloughs are related to functions that the museum cannot execute due to COVID-19 safety precautions, including hosting large group tours and in-person events such as dinners and receptions.

Museum of the Bible will remain open, and the guest experience will remain unaffected by these unavoidable, function-specific furloughs. The museum adheres to all District of Columbia COVID-19 guidelines, among the strictest in the nation.

Museum of the Bible is regularly cleaned and sanitized, and protective measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of all. With 430,000 square feet of space and six floors of exhibits — the equivalent of seven football fields — Museum of the Bible continues to offer visitors plenty of space for social distancing.

More information on Museum of the Bible is available here.