Budget and staff cuts at The Shed

The Shed – New York City’s new multi-purpose arts space – has slashed its budget and announced staff cuts. Opened in April 2019 at a cost of USD475m (€414m), it has hit hard times due to COVID-19 and problems with surrounding businesses.

Originally the Shed’s budget was set at USD46m, but that has now been cut by 43% to just USD26 million. 26% of full time staff have been laid off, while 80 hourly employees are on furlough.

“We’re not transforming the Shed into something different; it still needs marketing and programming and production departments,” said artistic director Alex Poots in an interview with Bloomberg. “But it needs less of all of those because we’re doing less.”

The concept behind the Shed is that it acts as a producing house for all art forms, with everything from gallery exhibitions to pop concerts. It doesn’t have any resident ensembles, which has reduced some of the COVID-19 closure burden.

However, a neighbouring shopping and housing complex called Hudson Yards has not taken off as quickly as planned, with one key retailer – Neiman Marcus – going bankrupt and other units remaining empty, adding to the Shed’s problems.