A Message From the Director

Dear Friends,

This year is unrelenting. Our hope that COVID-19 would subside quickly and the Museum would reopen in short order has not happened, and the Crocker is facing a harsh reality.

This unprecedented time has stretched us thin and forced us to call on all of our strength, adaptability, and resilience.

To address financial challenges caused by the pandemic, we’ve put a sustainability plan in place that readies us for economic change. We are prepared for declines in corporate sponsorships, grant availability, and fundraising event revenue to continue into 2022. While closed, we are assuming minimal earned revenue from admissions, the Crocker Cafe, event rentals, and the Museum Store (which remains open for phone orders). We also acknowledge that many of our supporters have been financially impacted by the shutdown and that general Museum contributions may decrease.

In March, at the onset of our closure, we implemented a number of cost-saving measures, including deep cuts in discretionary spending, a moratorium on annual increases for staff, the closure of vacant positions, furloughs for some employees, and salary reductions for senior leadership. Even with these cuts we were forecasting a deficit. Fortunately, a Payroll Protection Program loan and CARES Act funding from the city of Sacramento helped close the gap last year, but as of July 1 we entered a new fiscal year facing a $2 million deficit. More needed to be done.

Today I share the difficult news that we said farewell on Monday to six full-time and nine part-time employees, approximately 15% of the Museum’s workforce. We feel deeply for our colleagues who have devoted themselves to the Museum and to serving our community. It was a privilege to work with them, and we are grateful for their years of dedication. We have done our best to care for them with financial support, health benefits, and employment resources during their transition.

In assessing our financial priorities, we remain committed to connecting people with art, ideas, each other, and the world around them. The Crocker Art Museum exists in service to our community, and our contributions to the public good are more critical than ever. Today’s essential needs are health and safety, but also human connection, empathy, creativity, and respite, which are at the core of everything we do.

With our current resources and your continued support, we will deliver enriching, educational programs and interactions, serve people where they’re at, and fill educational gaps for at-home learning. We will also create more print and digital products and services, such as virtual art classes and exhibition tours, informative activity books, and in-gallery videos. We’ll convene virtual events and in-person classes, such as this month’s outdoor photography class, to facilitate enriching interactions and maintain personal connection. Finally, we will make investments in diversity, equity, access, and inclusion plus the right equipment and resources so our staff can thrive and better serve you.

The Crocker is fortunate and grateful to be a part of one of the most civically and culturally vibrant regions in the state. Even now, I’m confident in our future because I’ve seen so many people step up and increase their support for us and the arts. There are better days ahead.

Thank you for your steadfast loyalty.

Lial A. Jones

Mort and Marcy Friedman Director & CEO