Hard times are trickling into Denver’s art community, this time hitting MCA Denver, which has cut its 2009 budget by 17 percent, laying off five workers in the process, including the lower downtown gallery’s deputy director. That’s according to artdaily.org, which reports that Mark Bush, MCA’s finance committee chairman, has said the decision is necessary to maintaining the museum’s economic health. MCA’s announcement comes on the heels of Adam Lerner taking over as director (via 5280). Westword notes that Lerner’s arrival has accompanied anticipated “transformational” changes: MCA recently sacked its PR firm, Fitz & Co., which specializes in promoting visual arts, replacing it with one that focuses on “issues management” and “media relations.” Museums across the country have hardly been exempt from the financial crises, including the Denver Art Museum, as we noted previously in Panorama.