After the Portland Art Museum and NW Film Center closed nearly a month ago to prevent the spread of COVID-19, much of their staff is now facing a future without a regular paycheck.

About 80 percent of the workers at both facilities will be placed on unpaid leave April 16. That will allow them to continue to receive some compensation by using their sick and vacation time. The museum will also continue to provide health and dental benefits through June.

"I feel a great sense of responsibility to make sure our staff and institution are cared for as best as we are able," Portland Art Museum director Brian Ferriso said in a press release.

Ferriso said the leadership team looked at all options to get the institutions through the pandemic-related shutdown and concluded that unpaid leave was the best option.

Since Gov. Kate Brown prohibited large gatherings in mid-March, forcing the museum and film center to shutter, the two have incurred $1 million per month in payroll and other expenses without the ability to offset those costs with ticket sales or rental event business.

The museum has applied for a Small Business Administration loan through the federal CARES Act, but is still waiting for approval. During the closure, Ferriso and other leaders will take a pay cut and continue to seek other paths to get funding.

Arts patrons stuck at home can still visit the museum or view film center content online. The institutions have YouTube channels and other platforms to keep people engaged.