More than 20% of the full-time staff members at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU are losing their jobs.

Six full-time employees out of 27 are having their positions eliminated as a result of a reorganization, said Dominic Willsdon, executive director of the ICA.

“The ICA is not being downsized,” Willsdon said via email. “We’re carrying out a staff [reorganization], as organizations do from time to time.”

The staff eliminations will begin in August and run through March. The employees will receive severance, Willsdon said.

The non-collecting contemporary art museum at Virginia Commonwealth University opened in April 2018 after four years of construction and roughly 15 years of planning.

Willsdon said the reorganization comes from a new strategic plan for the ICA and VCU’s wider strategic plan Quest 2025, which will be published later in the summer.

Although six full-time roles were eliminated, the ICA said it will be creating seven roles in the months ahead.

Current ICA staff members will be eligible for and encouraged to apply for the new positions, Willsdon said.

The layoffs weren’t the first staffing change at the ICA.

The original director, Lisa Freiman, abruptly stepped down in January 2018, four months before the museum opened.

Her replacement, Willsdon, started in December . The inaugural curator, Lauren Ross, did not have her contract renewed at the ICA. She was replaced by Stephanie Smith.

Carol Anne Baker Lajoie, director of development for the museum since 2015, left in May.

Last month, Ellwood Thompson’s Café closed its location inside the museum because it “was not financially sustainable,” said Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market owner Rick Hood.

The ICA hit its first-year goal of 100,000 attendance in April. Attendance to date is 113,000.

The $41 million building, which covers 41,000 square feet, is at 601 W. Broad St., at the corner of Belvidere and Broad streets.

ccurran@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6151

Twitter: @collcurran

Colleen Curran covers arts and entertainment for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She writes the weekly column Top Five Weekend Events.

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