New York City's biggest cultural organizations among recipients of millions in federal PPP loans

Dozens of the city’s richest cultural organizations scored millions in federal bailouts meant for small businesses struggling with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Guggenheim Museum, Carnegie Hall, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx are among the biggest recipients of the Paycheck Protection Program, receiving between $5 million and 10 million each, according to a list of hundreds of thousands of loan recipients released by the Small Business Administration earlier this month.

Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Frick Collection and the Morgan Library and Museum, among others, took in between $2 million to $5 million each.

The Guggenheim, which has more than $92 million in endowment funds and paid director Richard Armstrong more than $1.4 million in fiscal 2018, received nearly $6 million.

The museum, which has furloughed 92 staff members since shuttering on March 13, projects a $15 million loss in revenue this year, a spokeswoman said. In April, the Guggenheim received $5.94 million in PPP money, she said.

Facing a shortfall of $7 million, the Whitney Museum of Art laid off 76 employees, according to Artnews. The museum has an endowment of more than $372 million, and its director, Adam Weinberg, took home more than $1 million in fiscal 2018. The museum did not return The Post’s requests for comment.

Carnegie Hall showed an endowment of $311.2 million in fiscal 2018 and paid its executive and artistic director Clive Gillinson $2.3 million in that year, including a housing allowance, tax filings show. The performing arts venue, which received $5.5 million in PPP support, closed its doors in mid-March due to the pandemic, and last month extended the closure until early 2021.

The cancellation of the fall season is expected to cost Carnegie Hall between $13 million and $14 million in ticket revenue and rental income, on top of an $8 million loss in the current year, a spokeswoman said.

The 250-acre NYBG has been shuttered since mid-March and plans to reopen to the public on July 28, as Phase 4 of the state’s reopening plan continues. The non-profit has an endowment of $369.2 million, tax filings for the 2018 fiscal year show. Carrie Rebora Barratt, who took over as CEO in July 2018, took home $300,064 for that fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2019.

The NYBG has used the federal loan to keep all 481 full-time staff members “on payroll and receiving full medical benefits” during its temporary closure, spokesman Nicholas Leshi said.

“As we look forward to reopening, these funds will be used to support the positions that keep our Visitor Services operations running smoothly,” Leshi said, adding that the non-profit did not furlough any staff members.

At the Morgan Library and Museum, a federal loan of $2.4 million allowed the organization “to successfully avoid furloughs and provide free public digital programming during our period of temporary closure,” a spokeswoman told The Post last week.

The Morgan Library has an endowment of $254.4 million, according to fiscal 2017 tax filings, the latest available. Its director, Colin Bailey, took home $601,102 that year.

Jazz at Lincoln Center, where managing and artistic director Wynton Marsalis’ compensation package was $2.3 million in fiscal 2017, received up to $5 million from the federal government at the height of the pandemic earlier this year.

The non-profit has an endowment of $48.4 million and was operating with a deficit of $4.5 million, federal filings show. A spokeswoman for the group refused to comment when asked how the organization was spending its federal loan, and whether Marsalis had taken a salary cut.

With an endowment of more than $330 million, the Frick Collection received $3.34 million in PPP support. which allowed the museum to retain its staff, a spokeswoman told The Post. In fiscal 2018, CEO Ian Wardropper received $850,515, which included a housing allowance and travel benefits for his spouse, federal filings show.

The federal government’s PPP has guaranteed nearly 5 million forgivable loans worth $659 billion. The loans are forgivable if companies use the cash to rehire their employees at the salaries they earned before the pandemic.

NYC’s cultural institutions by the numbers

Guggenheim Museum
Endowment: $92,009,498
CEO salary: $1,434,253
Loan: $5,938,000

Whitney Museum of American Art
Endowment: $372,314,000
CEO salary: $1,086,667
Loan: up to $10 million

Carnegie Hall
Endowment: $311,155,337
CEO salary: $2,340,288
Loan: $5.5 million

New York Botanical Garden
Endowment: $369,185,692
CEO salary: $300,064
Loan: up to $10 million

Morgan Library and Museum
Endowment: $254,363,933
CEO salary: $601,102
Loan: $2,357,570

Jazz at Lincoln Center
Endowment: $48,430,237
CEO salary: $2,272,888
Loan: up to $5 million

The Frick Collection
Endowment: $330,113,783
CEO salary: $850,515
Loan: $3.34 million

Share this article:

Source: Read Full Article