Louisiana Art & Science Museum receives $15,000 grant to sustain museum services amid pandemic


LASM visitors enjoying the sculpture Sequence of Life by renowned African American sculptor Frank Hayden, whose work is on view in Frank Hayden: Lift Every Voice, in the Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s Bert S. Turner Family Atrium (Photo courtesy of LASM).

Baton Rouge, La. (BRPROUD) – The Louisiana Art & Science Museum received a $15,000 Louisiana Culture Cares Fund Grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities to help it maintain museum services amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“Limitations on attendance, along with school closures and recommendations to socially distance in order to reduce the risk to public health, have had a devastating impact on our ability to earn revenue and serve large groups on-site at the LASM,” LASM President and Executive Director Serena Pandos said. “Notwithstanding these challenges, and with much thanks to the LEH and so many others in our community who have given so generously to the LASM COVID-19 emergency relief fund, the incredibly talented and nimble staff members still remaining at LASM have met unprecedented challenges with unprecedented innovation and creativity.”

The pandemic caused LASM to have a 100% drop in earned revenue, an area that comprises 30% of the museum’s annual operating budget, according to Pandos.

LASM laid off 41 staff members, 72% of the museum’s staff at that time, due to canceled cultural events, educational programs, school group programming, outreach and admissions caused by the pandemic, Pandos said.

With less strict government restrictions and more funds to help purchase supplies to protect against the virus, LASM is now open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“The Louisiana Culture Cares Fund Grant from LEH has helped to offset costs of PPE equipment, cleaning supplies, and safety shields, while supporting the availability of on-site services to the public,” LASM spokesperson Frances Lee wrote. “This funding has also supported LASM’s free-access virtual content.”

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